Physical Web: Connecting the Physical World to the Web

Physical Web
Most of the smart objects around us are eventually connected to the Internet, they are being connected to your smartphone through the internet to provide alerts or notify you on the status of your device. There will be a smartphone application for every smart object to control or monitor remotely those objects. These smart devices work great if you download the particular application, but the problem is that you need to download each application on your smart devices to control them. However, most users prefer to simply open a browser or one app and find the nearby smart devices to connect and control them.

Google has attempted to find a solution with a unique ecosystem called “The Physical Web”. It enables users to access necessary web pages nearby with their smartphones. It uses the Eddystone communication protocol to communicate with a user’s smartphone. So by using your smartphone, you can walk up nearby smart device and you can interact with it without installing a particular application.

Bluetooth Low Energy beacons pass the information that people need to access through their smartphone using the Physical Web just like an internet browser. So, every smartphone will have a web browser which will be compatible with Physical Web and browsers will use the Eddystone protocol to communicate with beacons. The browsers can read the smart device information to interact with devices such as switching on the smart light, lock/unlock the car door, tracking the bus at bus stop and so on. The Physical Web allows your smartphone to find the smart things around you.

How The Physical Web Works In Practically:

The Physical Web is a unique tool to manage the complexity of the Internet of Things. It helps us to control and navigate various smart objects in the physical world near by us. Start by configuring the beacons with your custom URL which you want to communicate with, place it where your customers expect to arrive and that is it! For example, Beacons provide important URL that direct to the web link to see the movie preview and trailers through physical web when you go nearby the poster, Physical Web make you track the bus you want to go and find the routes at the bus stop, help to find the vending machines, select the product and even go for the payment too.

Bluetooth Low Energy beacons are very important to the Physical Web, by providing right URL at the right place and right time. Beacons connect physical objects and that are able to improve the way to people interact with the things and spaces nearby. In addition to it makes a customer’s life easier by reducing the number of screens while getting what they need.

We at Vensi and BlueApp.io hope IoT make the Physical Web grow, it will be more widely accessible, extend to other platforms and also diversify the better user experience.

How Web Bluetooth Works to Access IoT Devices

Web Bluetooth for IoT

Bluetooth technology is making very excited, almost everyone, like tech users, developers and manufacturers, it is bringing lots of innovations by transforming day-to-day objects into IoT devices for better life.

Until now, we have had the ability to interact Bluetooth devices using only native apps. Google Chrome’s web development team regularly implement new APIs to extend new possibilities for web apps to behave an equivalent to that of native apps. Web Bluetooth API is targeted to change native app scenarios and brings Bluetooth device interaction into web browsers.

Web Bluetooth allows web developers to use Bluetooth to communicate with smart Bluetooth Low Energy devices. Similar to the Physical Web, users can interact with IoT devices when they are in range of the device. Web Bluetooth is a draft API, that allows a user to scan and select any local IoT device within range from a web page. Once the user selects a device from multiple IoT devices, a web page can directly control a device via Bluetooth Low Energy. The latest Google Chrome update has an Android enabled web Bluetooth to control IoT devices. To learn more, take a look at our previous blog post “How Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) supports Chrome to communicate with devices over IP”.

Communicating with Bluetooth devices through a web browser provides a great opportunity for companies to launch new IoT devices. They can spend more time and money on new product development instead of a native app for different platforms.

More sensitive web APIs are switching over only to the HTTPS mode. The Web Bluetooth API is no exception, it works only on HTTPS pages. The API will not work in the background without a user approve. The user can choose a Bluetooth Low Energy device to pair with it. Once the user is connected to a BLE device, it should gather data and connect to the BLE devices. BLE provides most of its functionality through key pairs provided by the Generic Attribute Profile (GATT).

Web Bluetooth provides endless opportunities for IoT device manufacturers. We at BlueApp.io support Web Bluetooth to access IoT devices without downloading any specific native app for IoT device.