Android users finally get the opportunity to tap into the devices that support Physical Web, eight months after iOS owners received access to the feature.
What this means is that Chrome 49 on Android connects to smart objects, such as parking meters and other.
The Physical Web is a feature that allows mobile users to find URLs relevant to their surroundings, with the help of a low-energy beacon.
Chrome for iOS has been testing the waters since last year in the area of Physical Web, and the promising applications did not take long to appear.
Android fans should know that Chrome 49 for Android will support Physical Web content, increasing the scope and user base of the new technology.
With the promising increase in the number of Physical Web-compatible beacons, coders find new ways to explore the platform's potential.
For example, a contributor from the Mozilla community showcases how the Bluetooth beacons are useful for discovering drones. What is more, you can also interact with one.
Another way to put beacons to good use is visible in the Brookwood Middle School, where BKON beacons help users to pass around sports accomplishments, class notes and news updates.
At CES 2016, 1,500 beacons from Radius Networks were placed to help with navigating the large exhibition space. Back in 2014, meanwhile, Radius Networks offered CES visitors a neat treasure hunt based on proximity-aware apps.
For now, Physical Web coders who want to contribute content for Chrome Android can do so in beta testing mode, with widespread support promised for later this year.
When users pass by a beacon for the first time, they will get a notification allowing them to enable the Physical Web. On future beacon encounters, users get a list of URLs by simply tapping the new notifications.
Content developers might want to know that the Physical Web coupled with Eddystone-supported beacons can help them showcase content easier for interested users. Thanks to the integration of Physical Web into Chrome for Android, only one Web deployment is able to offer contextual information to Chrome users from many mobile platforms.
We expect to see more variation in contextual experiences crafted by developers.
If this spiked your interest, check out the Physical Web cookbook to learn more about its possibilities.