Google Revives Beacon Technology With Security Upgrade

Alphabet Inc.'s shares, beacon technology, EIDs

Google is working on the long forgotten technology again

According to the most recent news, the long abandoned beacon technology has met its revival as Google is bringing the technology back with more upgrades.

Years ago, Google and Apple both have introduced the technology. It involved the use of Bluetooth Low Energy and low-cost transmitters, which enable the tracking of user’s positions to within feet. For marketers, the technology was profitable as they can easily distribute coupons and send notifications to the customers in nearby airports, shops, and stadiums. Customers didn’t show much excitement about it especially when they knew how they were being constantly tracked.

The Mountain View, Calif. firm has reintroduced the beacon technology by strengthening the security update of the format which might bring down the customers’ fears of security. Physical beacons will now come with Ephemeral IDs or EIDs. Each beacon will be equipped with the ID –which is somewhat similar to the computer’s IP address –used to identify the consumer’s tablet or phone, in addition to larger beacon networks. EIDs are encrypted IDs which can be self-destroyed. The destruction can take place after a second or can take maximum nine hours.

According to Google, this will make the user’s tracking tougher and will likely cover the location of the beacon. Chief Technologist, Joseph Hall, at Centre for Democracy & Technology, while speaking to Wired, said that through EIDs, the internet search behemoth’s Eddystone beacon technology now possess lesser threat to a user’s technology. He cited: “The threats that Google is trying to protect against here is some sort of persistent correlation between your identity, or some location, or the fact that you’re communicating with this thing quite often.”

Google has expressed that, from this week, around 15 beacon companies will support EIDs. It added that in the future, “more companies” would follow the same suit. Google is looking forward to showcase the wide spectrum if the uses beacons are likely to have. The Colorado based luggage manufacturer, Samsonite has installed Eddystone EID beacon in smart suitcases to circumvent the frequent luggage lost. In the similar fashion, Hong Kong Museum K11 is also using Google’s technology to render the exhibits’ information to the visitors’ phones and Washington Wizards is using EIDs in order to give rewards to fans at games.

Although the technology apparently sounds quite useful and interesting, it hasn’t quite yet touched the hearts of average customers. Customers are still skeptical regarding the security of the technology as nobody likes being tracked at every hour of the day. Even though the internet behemoth has enabled a security feature, it will not be enough for making the technology acceptable among the consumers. The company has to come up with more compelling features and cases if it really wants to revive the tech and not just abandon it like previously.

Alphabet’s shares are trading well at the market. The share closed at a price of $775, at Thursday’s market. The 52-week range of the shares is $529 to $810.

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