The Physical Web will Change Everything

When it comes to news, there's big and then there's really, really big and the #physicalweb is that kind of news. Take a device cheaper than a Smartphone cover and a website called phy.net and ANY business, no matter how small, can invite visitors and passers-by to look at targeted web content on a mobile device browser. Today it's working with Chrome on iOS devices. Soon it will just work everywhere. This video does an excellent job of making the parts and the promise understandable.

Naturally Google wants the developer community to get up to speed with the physical web and it has published content so directed, some of which is intelligible even to non-technical wanna-be's like myself. In an article on Google's github website we find these comments:

Once any smart device can have a web address, the overhead of a dedicated app is no longer required for simple interactions. The Physical Web approach unlocks use cases that would never be practical if a dedicated app were required:

  • A cat collar can let you call to find the owner
  • A bus can tell you its next stop
  • A parking meter can pay in the cloud
  • Any store, no matter how small, can offer an online experience when you walk in
  • A shared car service can broadcast a signup page, allowing you to immediately drive away
  • Industrial equipment can offer diagnostics
Another github article describes how simple it is to get started with the physical web:

"...all you need is a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon that supports Eddystone-URL and a website. Simply follow your specific beacon's instructions to configure the URL to your website, place the beacon and that's it: you're now part of the Physical Web!"  That sounds like something a great many of us could do or have done for us very inexpensively. We'll stay on top of developments in this space and keep you updated on the blog and on Twitter.

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