What is the Physical Web?

So you have some amazing technology; maybe you invented it, maybe you found it and want to take it to your boss, or maybe you are the boss, and want your team to understand just how amazing it is, but how do you do it?

You want them to buy in on your product, but before you do that, you have to help them to understand how your product even works, and for that, you need to take a step back, and explain the physical web.

That being said, what is the physical web?

Picture the internet, a virtual web that encompasses the world.Every site is a tiny dot on the web, connecting to another tinier dot, on and on forever.

The physical web is just that, except it isn’t virtual, and each of those dots is an actual physical location.

With the physical web you can walk up and interact with anything, a poster, a toy, a parking meter, or a retail location. Interactions are just a tap away without needing to install an app first.

So how does it actually work? Google’s Physical Web allows you to see a list of URLs being broadcast by everyday objects in the environment around you. Any object can be embedded with a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon. These beacons are low powered, battery efficient devices that broadcast content over Bluetooth. Using Google Chrome (Looking at you iPhone), or Nearby Notifications, you can scan for those URLs close by.

Check your notification panel to see pages for connected items near you, and chose what interests you most. When anything can connect, the possibilities are endless.

Now that your team understands the Physical Web, you can help them catch the dream of what is truly possible, watch their eyes widen as they realize just how limitless those possibilities really are, but that’s a conversation for another time.


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