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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Beaconix Web Proxy for Eddystone Beacons

Are you a beacon developer? Are you testing Google Eddystone URL beacons? You may find our Eddystone web proxy useful. 

Here at Beaconix we are very excited about the range of possibilities that Google Eddystone URL offers. The ability to leverage beacons without requiring users to first download a proprietary app, increases the reach of proximity-enabled activities over tenfold. And, with Beaconix's management tools, you can quickly and remotely change a beacon's actual URL, to enable even more sophisticated, time-based scenarios.

As you surely know, the Eddystone URL platform uses a proxy web service by Google to filter and cache beacon URL information. Thus, when you click on the beacon entry, as discovered by Chrome (and other vehicles for Google Nearby) or the Physical Web app, your browser is actually proxied to the cached info. If the final landing page was recently changed, you will have to wait for the cache to expire, before its current meta details are correctly displayed. Moreover, the URL supported has to be served by HTTPS. We also suspect that some URLs are suppressed if presented to users and never clicked on.

As we are setting up and integrating tons of beacon systems, we found those characteristics to be somewhat limiting and burdensome. 

So, we installed our own Beaconix proxy to overcome these limitations during tests. And now, you can use it too! 

In order to use Beaconix's web service for Eddystone URL, open your Physical Web app for Android; then go to Settings and set the following two values:

  • Physical Web Service:  Custom Physical Web Service
  • Custom Physical Web Service URL:

The result should look as in the following screen.

Now, go back to the main screen and pull down the notification bar to search for beacons as usual. Note that you can detect HTTP URLs, and there is no caching or filtering.

Enjoy, and let us know what you think!