Samsung will launch its beacon platform to developers tomorrow. And while the headline is that they’ll be offering a way to let brands use a shared app/beacon registry to reach consumers and thus not even necessarily NEED their own app, they’re also releasing tools for developers.
This move also suggests that the biggest competitor to Samsung for this service isn’t Apple – it’s companies like Gimbal, a spin-off of Qualcomm which offers similar cloud-based services for registering beacons, setting geofences and pushing messages.
The Samsung web site provides more information.
(Their site also looks like it was designed over a few hours in the back of a coffee shop somewhere. Not exactly a polished performance – and has a feeling of being rapidly put together without the help of, you know, a Web designer).
The information about the SDK also indicates that Samsung is, finally, opening up the ability for your Android phone to BE a beacon:
Placedge uses Bluetooth (BT) to send and transmit micro-location data to Samsung smart devices. Bluetooth technology consists two different modes – Central and Peripheral. A device in central mode scans and searches for beacon advertisements, while a device in peripheral mode transmits advertisements to other devices. Currently, Android provides built-in support for central mode BLE only. Samsung Placedge SDK allows Samsung devices to utilize peripheral mode as well.
The site also clarifies that Samsung WILL be supporting a specific requirement for the beacons that the phone can interact with. It’s one of several conditions for using the service, which Samsung outlines:
- Please note that the Beacon Discovery module discovers beacons that are registered with the Placedge Web Console. Thus, partners need to register beacons in Placedge Server using either the Placedge Web Console or Placedge Server API before scanning for partner beacons using the Placedge SDK.
- Additionally, Placedge SDK discovers only those beacons that are compliant with Samsung’s Placedge Beacon Specification.
- Access to the Placedge Web Console and Placedge SDK are limited to registered partners only.
These conditions, and the ability to bypass apps and send messages directly to consumers indicates that Samsung wants to have its cake and eat it too: bypass the app layer, but provide tools to app developers.
Share Your Thoughts
What do you think? Can Samsung match the kinds of beacon development tools already on the market?