BLEeding-edge Web and the Physical World

Google’s latest version of their Chrome web browser (56) can now enable websites to communicate directly with nearby Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices. Before now, interacting with bluetooth devices required the installation of a native app on a mobile device or computer. The Web Bluetooth API aims to bring this interactivity to web browsers and the Physical Web.

The Physical Web is an technique where a nearby object (parking meters, bus stops, posters, etc.) can notify your device to visit a particular webpage URL. The website visited could then:

  • show you more information about the object
  • allow you to directly interact with the object
  • display opt-in push notifications

Below are some demos Google created to show some possibilities of using the Physical Web, Bluetooth, and push notifications.

Major Tom, this is Phone Control
Toy broadcasts an URL for a webpage that lets you control and steer it.

Come back when your table is ready.
Using push notifications and the physical web to create a restaurant customer queueing system.

No more digging for loose change
An internet-connected parking meter to pay for your parking.

Discover more about the Physical Web.