Google is working on a new version of Chrome for Android (version 49 for those keep track at home) that will finally allow users to interact with Bluetooth beacons scattered around the real world. Google calls the integration between your smartphone and the real world a “Physical Web.”
As you’re walking, for example, you might get a notification about a nearby restaurant. Or the Bluetooth beacons might help you find a seat in a football stadium. The beacons aren’t new – they’ve been around for a couple of years and are also supported on iOS. The integration into Chrome for Android is new, however.
“Now, Physical Web developers can reach Chrome for Android users as well, starting with the Beta channel and rolling out more widely soon,” Google explained in a recent blog post. “When these users walk by a beacon for the first time, they’ll receive a notification allowing them to enable the Physical Web. On future encounters with beacons, users can quickly see a list of nearby URLs by tapping on a non-vibrating notification waiting for them.”
Google says developers can start to take advantage of the support with Eddystone-supported beacons. Let’s see what kind of fun new ideas developers can come up with before Chrome 49 hits its final release.