Lately I stumbled over Google’s Eddystone protocol and how it brings the word wide web to the physical world or the other way around: how it enhances physical things with the internet. This idea is nothing new: there was/is RFID/NFC or even barcodes. What I can see as real advantage of the physical web compared to these other technologies is that you get contextual information without opening any app or touching a specific physical thing.

Real contextual information is possible without being disturbed by push notifications. For instance you are waiting in public office area. Now you can pick up a digital ticket just as you enter or you get finally the online self care service shown. An other good show case might be a train station which shows you the delays etc. Means there are plenty of opportunities!

The good news are you can set-up a basic physical web experiment just within minutes if you have a Raspberry PI 3 with Jessie:

  1. Enable Bluetooth sudo hciconfig hci0 up
  2. Advertise and not-connectable sudo hciconfig hci0 leadv 3
  3. Generate Eddystone URL and call it (only HTTPS target URLs are working: http -> https works, https -> http doesn’t)

How to enable Physical Web beacons on iOS.

And even more information and ideas you will find in this video: