New AltBeacon Standard Allows Cross-Platform Proximity Apps

By Marc Wallace

Recently, we removed our Android beacon tools and related projects from our website. We are happy to announce that we are re-releasing them with a major update that we feel will establish a stronger foundation and ecosystem for proximity solutions and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon development.

Our team feels strongly that the huge potential of proximity technology lies not with one platform but across all platforms. With this in mind, Radius Networks has authored and released a new open standard for beacons, AltBeacon.org.

Currently, no open, interoperable specification for BLE proximity beacons exists. Only proprietary specifications exist, which favor one vendor over another. We hope that AltBeacon solves this problem. We also believe we have created a specification that is more flexible and can accommodate different types of proximity beacon implementations and solutions that can benefit by not being locked into a specific format, such as rigid identifier lengths and additional payload space for critical information.

The AltBeacon standard, supporting libraries, and reference implementations are available as open source, and all AltBeacon work is open under the Creative Commons license. AltBeacon is available to everybody and for every type of device.

The Radius Networks team has released an update to the Android Beacon library, as well as tools and reference implementations to support AltBeacon. Our plan is to adopt AltBeacon across all of our tools and platforms to complement our support for iBeacon™ technology.

Please check out the new standard and let us know your thoughts. We hope for feedback from the community on how the AltBeacon specification can be enhanced and improved.