Over the last couple of years BLE beacons have become a new communication paradigm for the smartphone market; growing as the first (or more realistic) approach to the Internet of Things and being implanted in many scenarios thereby giving real-world context to your apps.
We explained in detail what Eddystone, the open beacon format from Google, offers in this former post. All the frames of Eddystone enhance the beacon technology but the main barrier against massive adoption remains. Since it is necessary to use a unique and public ID to communicate with your apps you run the risk of being tracked or spoofed by malicious third parties.
Now, that problem has been solved with the release of the new frame type of Eddystone™ format, the Eddystone™ Ephemeral ID.
How does EDDYSTONE-EID work?
Eddystone-EID solves the security problem of the beacon networks. Potential big players in the BLE beacon market, like retailers, want to invest in secure infrastructures that can’t be used freely by others, such their own competitors.
To prevent this, Eddystone-EID uses rotating ephemeral identifiers to broadcast a more secure beacon signal which works across Android and iOS devices. This helps prevent spoofing, malicious asset tracking, replay attacks, or just unpermitted access. Then, only authorized apps can get the real ID from the Eddystone-EID.
Keep in mind that Eddystone is an open beacon format, meaning that any CMS platform can implement it to guarantee secure deployments, while they create rich experiences in a higher development layer.
How to start
You simply register your beacons on a compatible Eddystone-EID platform, allowing them to start sending encrypted and rotating IDs synchronously with the platform. Thereby, despite the fact that the ID is constantly changing every certain period of time, your app will be able to consult an Ephemeral ID to get a unique and registered ID, in order to execute a specific action.
Then it is possible to establish a secure connection between your beacons and your apps while we protect the final user and your beacon network.
Our EDDYSTONE-EID case study: TRACK&GO™ from SAMSONITE™
In 2014 alone, more than 24 million pieces of baggage were lost. Fortunately, 95% of them were found and returned to their owners. However, that leaves more than 1 million items of baggage that have never been recovered.
Now Samsonite introduces Track&Go, the definitive solution to easily and privately find your lost luggage.
In this project, Accent Systems has acted as a hardware consultant for Samsonite, performing a beacon luggage development. In the software side, this project has count with ‘In the Pocket’ as the developers of the app.
We have built the Bluetooth beacon inside the suitcase which support Eddystone-EID. In a traveling context, this will help you to quickly recover your luggage without taking the risk of being identified by malicious third parties, an important extra security feature in comparison with the rest of the luggages of the market.
You can understand how Track&Go works in the following video. For more detailed information about this project you can read the post of this case study right here.
Be the first to test it!
We have been collaborating with Google as one of the official Eddystone hardware manufacturers, meaning that we make our iBKS BLE beacons 100% compatible with the new Eddystone update.
In early May all trusted Eddystone manufacturers will be allowed to start shipping beacons compatible with Eddystone-EID, but if you want to be the first to test it just buy one of our actual iBKS beacons and update the firmware the same day of the final release.
If you had bought one iBKS, don’t worry. The iBKS 105, iBKS Plus and iBKS USB (the units with red or black PCBs) are already prepared to support Eddystone-EID in terms of hardware, so you will also be the first to try this new frame of Eddystone just updating the firmware as we commented before.
If you need more information you can check out our FAQs or send us an email to iBKS@accent-systems with any queries you may have. We will be pleased to help you.