Google on Tuesday announced its own take on beacons — small locators that can be placed anywhere — that it hopes will be widely deployed and used across all platforms. Called Eddystone, the beacons take advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology and are supposed to be more private that competing options like iBeacon.

"A beacon is meant to be discoverable by any nearby Bluetooth Smart device, via its identifier which is a public signal," Google explained. "At the same time, privacy and security are really important, so we built in a feature called Ephemeral Identifiers (EIDs) which change frequently, and allow only authorized clients to decode them. EIDs will enable you to securely do things like find your luggage once you get off the plane or find your lost keys."

Beacons can be used for anything, like helping you find a seat in a large stadium, or displaying information about a piece of art on your smartphone during a trip to the museum. Google even plans to embed Eddystone technology into Google Now.

"Google Maps launched beacon-based transit notifications in Portland earlier this year, to help people get faster access to real-time transit schedules for specific stations," the company said. "And soon, Google Now will also be able to use this contextual information to help prioritize the most relevant cards, like showing you menu items when you're inside a restaurant."

The tools are available for developers now, and there are already six companies building Eddystone beacons. Hit the source for more information.