Lightweight real world interactions with the Physical Web – Google I/O 2016

Lightweight real world interactions with the Physical Web – Google I/O 2016

ANI MOHAN: Hi, everyone. AUDIENCE: Hi. ANI MOHAN: How’s it going? Hope you’ve been having
a great I/O so far. Anyone go to the Kygo
concert last night? Yeah? It was a lot of fun. So I’m Ani, I’m a product
manager on the Chrome team, and I’m really excited
to talk to you today about the Physical Web,
which is a lightweight way to bring interactivity
to everyday objects and environments. So this talk will
cover three things. One, I’ll tell you a little bit
about what the Physical Web is and how it works,
to, I’ll give you a flavor for how developers are
using the Physical Web today and how you can get
started with it, and finally, my
colleague Scott’s going to come up on
stage to tell you a little bit about
where we’re headed. But first, I want to
start with a story. So I love museums,
especially art museums, but one of the most
frustrating things at a museum is when I’m looking
at an exhibit, but I want to learn more
about what I’m looking at. And if there’s not a
description posted right next to the exhibit, this can be
kind of a frustrating experience today. Maybe when I walk into
the lobby of a museum, there’s posters
everywhere that tell me to install an Android
app or an iOS app to learn more about
what I’m looking at, but this kind of
frustrating, because I have to do work the very first
time I walk into a museum. And why should I have an app
sitting around on my device when I’m probably not going
to come back to this museum? You know, maybe there
are QR codes peppered throughout the exhibits
alongside the art, but that’s again
kind of annoying, because I need to fumble
around on my phone to find the QR code
scanner app and walk up really close to the art,
and, you know, it’s no fun. I would love it if this
information were just there at my fingertips. So museums are one
thing, but there’s all sorts of other
contexts in which you might want to interact
with your environment, whether it’s other
objects or other places. Now, today, there
aren’t too many of these kinds of
contexts, and they tend to be associated
with things that we call smart devices. Maybe a smart TV or
a smart refrigerator. These big personal electronics
that we might have in the home. It’s not a big deal
to download an app when we purchase them and
do initial set up work. There’s not a lot of
friction, because there’s not too many interactions
we need to take. But if we look at
Moore’s Law in action over the past few
decades, we know that with declining
hardware costs, there’s going to be a lot
more of these kinds of devices on the horizon. And we’re already starting
to see some of these, from things like smart locks
to smart washing machines. Now, fast forward a few years
and the number of these devices is simply going to explode,
from things like smart parking meters, to coffee
shop interactions, to kitchen appliances. There’s going to be all sorts
of devices and locations where I’ll want to interact. And for this, we’ll need a new
kind of interaction paradigm that scales to a low
friction experience where I don’t have to do work
before I engage my interaction. Now, let’s go back to
our museum example. You know, what if instead of
me going and doing set up work or having to install something
when I walk up to the exhibit, it could just broadcast
something directly to me? What if I don’t
have to do any work, but I get the information
I need, when I want it, and where I want it? So it turns out that this
isn’t just theoretical. It’s possible today
using the Physical Web. So what is the Physical Web? Well, our mission is to
enable you to walk up and be able to use anything. You know, our core
value proposition is that when you walk
into an environment, you can very easily see
a list of URLs associated with the space
around you, so you know what you can interact with,
what objects, and locations, and devices in the area
that you can interact with. You know, it’s
ultimately just built on top of the web, which means
two key things in this context. One, it means that URLs
are the fundamental unit of interaction. So every device, every
location, every object can have a URL
associated with it that’s broadcasting
to your device. But two, it also
means that it’s open, which means that anyone can get
started with it without asking for permission, from
the smallest hacker developer to a large company. Now, I want to tell you more
about what this looks like and how it’s used, but
first let’s give you a glimpse of how it might look. Uh-oh. I swear, this is not the
end of the presentation. There we go. So imagine that you’re
in a space where there might be something
like a vending machine, and there’s a URL associated
with the vending machine that you want to be able to
really easily interact with. So you might walk in,
the vending machine could just be
broadcasting a website, and you’ll see it up
here on your device. And you know, this is a
concept of how this might look, but we’ll show you
some more real world, realistic applications as
well today, that are in use. Now, how does the Physical
Web actually work? Trying to advance the slides. FEMALE SPEAKER: Be
right with you, Ani. ANI MOHAN: Sure. There we go. perfect. So at its core, the Physical
Web is made up of three things. So one, Bluetooth
low energy beacons. Two, a scanning
service that actually sits on your device that can
scan for and decode these URLs. And third, a proxy service. So let’s unpack each of these. So the first phase
of the Physical Web is Bluetooth low
energy beacons that are placed in the environment. So what are Bluetooth
low energy beacons? These are relatively
inexpensive, low powered, multi-battery year life devices
that can broadcast content over Bluetooth. So last year, Google released
an open specification call Eddystone, which defines
a format for communication for how beacons can broadcast
content into the environment. I’m excited that since the
announcement of Eddystone, today, there’s over
30 manufacturers that make Eddystone beacons
that you can buy. Now, one of the properties
of an Eddystone beacon is that it can broadcast a URL
using the Eddystone URL frame format, meaning that a URL can
be encoded and placed directly on the beacon and
broadcast into the space. So that’s the first phase. Beacons out in the wild,
broadcasting websites. Now, the second
phase is that there needs to be something
on your device that can actually scan
for, decode, and display these URLs to the user, and
using low level iOS and Android platform scanning
APIs, any developer can create a scanning utility
that can display these Physical Web URLs. But we wanted to make
this really easy for users to get started today
using the Physical Web, without having to install
or download something new. So what we’re doing on the team
is encouraging lots of apps to actually incorporate scanning
into the application itself. And so our team is
the Chrome team, and we work on bring Physical
Web support into Chrome. And I’ll show you a little
bit later what this Chrome experience looks like,
but what makes me really excited is that it’s not
just Chrome that’s involved with the Physical Web. We work closely with Opera,
which announced support for the Physical Web in the
labs version of their release last October. And Samsung is exploring ways
to surface Physical Web results in the Samsung S browser. And if you were here
yesterday, if you attended the Nearby talk, you might have
seen that Nearby Notifications is a new Android surface to
showcase Physical Web results. So really excited to see all
this momentum in the ecosystem and see many different types
of apps adopt and embrace Physical Web support baked in. Now, the third phase
of the Physical Web is the proxy service, which
is a server side service that sits in between Bluetooth low
energy beacons and the scanners that appear on a user’s device. And this proxy plays two
very important roles. So the first is that
it keeps users save. It make sure that
malicious URLs that might be broadcast over
Bluetooth low energy beacons never ultimately show
up on users’ devices. But secondly, and increasingly
importantly, the proxy actually ranks and sorts the URLs
that users ultimately see. You can imagine a
world where there might be a lot of these beacons
scattered in the environment. Users might see a
long list of URLs. And the user shouldn’t
have to choose which one is most important
to them or relevant to them at that point in time. The proxy can play this
role in doing the sorting. And in the ethos of the
physical web being designed as an open ecosystem, the
proxy is an interoperable piece of the system. So users can ultimately
choose whether or not to incorporate it into their
Physical Web experience. So let’s show you a
little bit about what this might look like in practice. So last year, we
on the Chrome team announced support for
physical web on iOS, and this is our way of signaling
to the broader ecosystem that, hey, the Physical
Web is something that Google does truly embrace. If you have an iPhone today,
you can actually set this up by adding the Chrome widget to
the Today view of iOS, where you can simply opt
in to the experience, and any time you swipe
down onto the Today view, you’ll be able to see
the website appear. So again, in our
vending machine example, this is just a gif
of this in action. You swipe down and you see
the URL being broadcast by the vending machine. What I’m really excited about
is that two months ago, we announced support for Chrome
on Android integration with the Physical Web. And we’re really proud of this
implementation, because it really takes advantage of
some of the cool things that you can do with
the Android platform. One of the main
properties here is that we surface these Physical
Web results via what we call a low priority notification. A notification
that looks and acts like any other notification
but doesn’t actually vibrate the user’s device. And so this is a key
principle, because we don’t want to create a
world where every time you walk by a beacon,
your phone goes off. No one wants to deal with that. We want to make it so that the
websites are available for you to access to see these
results when users proactively ask for it. So what this might
look like in practice is– again with our
vending machine example. That’s another gif
of this in action. You swipe down and you’ll see
the notification sitting there in your notification tray. You tap on it, it starts
scanning for nearby URLs, and it displays it right there. And so again, if you have
an Android device today, and you turn on
Bluetooth, you’ll be prompted to opt
into the Physical Web whenever you first
walk by a beacon, and you’ll be able to take
part in this experience today. And actually, we want to
make it really easy for folks to see what this looks like
at I/O. So throughout I/O, we’ve deployed Physical Web
beacons that are actually broadcasting the I/O
schedule so that you have the schedule
at your fingertips no matter where you are. Also, within individual
rooms we have spaces URLs. It’s a new product
that Google launched on Monday that make
it really easy for you to interact with other people
in a certain session space. So I encourage you to check out
the Physical Web on an iPhone or Android device. But of course, something
like the Physical Web is, perhaps, best
illustrated in person. So what we’re going to do
now is a technology demo to show you how this might work. So Scott’s coming up and
setting up a candy machine that we have right here. And so the experience
we’re going to show you– we can switch to
the wolf vision– is what it might
look like for me to actually interact
a device like that. You know? A device it’s just kind
of out in the wild. Not one that I might
have seen before. Something I want a
friction-free, quick interaction with. So now I’m going to
switch over to my phone, and I have Physical Web
enabled, so let’s see if I can discover that URL. So I’ll simply swipe down,
tap on the physical web notification. Looks like a lot of people here
are broadcasting Physical Web URLs. That’s awesome. I’ll scroll down,
and look at that. I see the candy machine
that’s broadcasting a website, so I’ll tap on it. And at this point, the
Physical Web is done. All it did was enable
friction-free, quick interaction to get to
a website without me having to know what to go to. But here’s where the web
really starts shining. Some of the cool new
things that the web can do are being featured
throughout I/O, but I want to tell you about
one thing in particular, which is called Web Bluetooth. It’s the ability for a
website to connect directly to a device over Bluetooth. So that candy machine
actually doesn’t have any internet connectivity. It’s just emitting
content over Bluetooth. So if I connect to it,
I can now just walk up and get some candy. [CLINKING] There we go. Look at that. [APPLAUSE] Just walk up and use. And so that’s just
a sample for what are some of the
cool things that you can do with the Physical Web. And of course, it’s a technology
demo, and things like this aren’t necessarily
experiences that you’re going to use in the world today. But what I am excited
about is that developers, both large and small, are using
the Physical Web in all sorts of creative ways today. And I’m going to give
you a flavor for what a couple of these
experiences look like. So first, I want you to
imagine that you’re in London. Let’s say you’re a
visitor to London, and you’re hurriedly
trying to get onto a bus. You know, you’re
boarding a bus stop. [CLINKING] Isn’t that funny? See? It’s so easy to use. Anyone can use it. [LAUGHTER] We’ll turn it on after. [APPLAUSE] So imagine you’re in London. You know, you’re a
traveler to London, you’re trying to get onto a bus,
and you’re really stressed out because you don’t
know when your bus is going to arrive at the stop
that you want to get off at. You know, today,
there’s not necessarily a great solution
to this problem. You probably need to find
the right website to go to. Maybe you’re hurriedly trying to
find the right app to download. But you’re a traveler. You don’t want to have
to worry about this. So what you can do with
the Physical Web today– and this is an experience
that’s live in London as of a month ago– is that
you can get onto a public bus, swipe down and
see a Physical Web notification, because there’s
beacons deployed inside of these buses. Tap on the website being
broadcast by the physical web beacon and get taken to a web
application that shows you real time estimated
traffic data. And again, one of the cool
new things that the web can do is actually send you
push notifications. So even when you don’t have
your phone screen turned on or your browser’s
not open, the website can send you a notification. So you could do something
like, hey, notify me when I get to a particular
stop that I want to get to, and put your phone
away, and your phone will just send
you a notification when you get there. So this entire
experience was enabled by the frictionless
discovery of this website, and it’s an example of the
use of the Physical Web that is especially powerful when
you see some of the things that the web can do. And so this is live across
100 buses in London today, and the team that
deployed it is working on rolling it out to more buses
over the course of this year. But as I mentioned, one
of the things that gets me and our team really excited
about the Physical Web is that it’s
something that’s open. It’s something that anyone
can get started with. And so this next example that
I’m going to show you, I think, really illustrates this point. After we shipped Chrome
on iOS last year, we were pleased to discover
five months afterwards that there’s a middle school and
Alabama called Brooklyn Middle School that uses
the Physical Web to supercharge their every
day school experience. And so when we dug
a little bit deeper to find out how they’re
using the Physical Web, we realized that
there were a lot of creative applications of it. So when you walk into
the lobby of the school and wander into the
area where they showcase the athletic and
academic trophies, you can actually swipe
down on your phone and get taken a Physical
Web experience where you see YouTube videos
associated with when those sports trophies
were collected, so you get a little more context
about what you’re looking at. But it’s also used
in the classroom. You know, when you walk by
rooms where teachers might be teaching, you
can actually quickly get access to notes that the
teachers might be distributing. Or, if you’re
inside the classroom using the physical
web, you can quickly get access to the assignments
that the teacher might be broadcasting for
homework later in the day, or be able to engage in a
quick, interactive poll. You know, all quick, minute,
friction free interactions that you have within the school. And we’re excited to see
the school really start to embrace the Physical Web. You know, the students
started creating signage that educated each
other, and parents, and potential visitors to
the school how to turn it on, and they’re evangelizing
the Physical Web within their local
community, trying to convince local museums
and local stores to adopt it. And the principal
is even speaking at sort of a nationwide
educational circuit to talk about how the Physical
Web can improve the school experience. So examples like these
really get our team excited, because part of the
beauty of the physical web is its simplicity
and its openness, and that anyone can really
get started to build interesting experiences. And so those two are just
sort of a flavor for how the physical web is used today. And I want to give you a
brief glimpse into a few more. So our local Bay Area basketball
team, Golden State Warriors, who won last night– AUDIENCE: Woo! ANI MOHAN: They use
the Physical Web. Yeah, there we go. We could probably pause a
little bit longer for that. They actually deploy
the Physical Web at Oracle Arena,
where they greet fans who walk into the
stadium with highlight videos and give them cool
teaser content. The Consumer
Technology Association which runs the annual
Consumer Electronics Show deployed Physical Web beacons
at CES this past January, where they provide
a way for visitors to engage in a virtual scavenger
hunt throughout the venue. There’s museums, both
locally and abroad, that are using the Physical
Web to provide experiences very similar to the one that I
talked about in the beginning, sort provide this immersive,
engaging museum experience. And there’s a whole lot more
that are using the Physical Web in all sorts of creative ways. And of course, the
days are still young. This is still an
early ecosystem, but we’re excited to see such a
diversity of use cases already being used. But it’s not just the
case that developers are putting out beacons. We’re realizing that the press
is also increasingly starting to take notice. And increasingly what
they’re commenting on is how simply the
physical web can enable a light weight
IoT-like experience in a variety of contexts. And since our Chrome
on Android launch, we’ve noticed that
users are increasingly encountering and interacting
with these beacons. From about two
months ago to today, we’re seeing roughly 10 times
the number of encounters that users have
with these beacons. And of course, you know,
these numbers are still early. It’s still a very
young ecosystem. But the signs look
promising, and we’re excited to see
where this will go. So that’s a little bit about how
the Physical Web is used today, but I want to bring
this over to you. Developers. How can you get started
with the Physical Web? Well, to answer this
question, you first need to figure out two things. You know, one, what does
your use case specifically look like, and two,
how big of a space are you trying to enable your
Physical Web experience in? Are you trying to broadcast
a single piece of content in a relatively small space? And the example we like
to talk about there is, let’s say
you’re a restaurant and you want to provide a
really easy digital menu for the people who
walk into your store, into your restaurant. Are you trying to cover
a broad area with sort of a single piece of content? This is something
like what we’re doing at I/O, where
throughout I/O, which can’t be covered
by single beacon, we’re broadcasting a single URL. The link to the schedule. Or are you trying to
do something even more engaging and even more
complex, where you’re trying to deploy multiple
beacons across multiple spaces with a variety of URLs? Answering this
question will help you figure out, one,
how many beacons you need to enable the
experience that you’d like to provide, and two,
what your content management strategy looks like for the
URLs that you’re broadcasting. So once you answer
this question, you’ll need to actually
go out and get beacons. So it turns out
that if you actually have an Android device, one
of the more modern Android devices, either a Nexus phone or
one of the more recent flagship Samsung devices, Motorola
devices, LG devices, you can download this app
called beacon toy from the Play Store that lets you create
a virtual beacon straight from your phone. So when you download
this app, you can set up the appropriate
configuration parameters to see what a beacon
configuration, process looks like and choose what
URL you would want to broadcast, and simply go. You know, it’s a way of having
a lightweight way of interacting with beacons and
getting your feet wet with what this
experience looks like. But once you’re ready to
actually deploy beacons, you can go to this website
right here,, and you see a list of over 30
Eddystone manufactures that you can choose from to actually
go and put this hardware out in the environment. But of course, you
know, this wouldn’t be Google I/O
without a giveaway, and so I’m excited that tomorrow
at 3:00 PM in our Mobile Web sandbox, we’ll actually
be distributing some of these beacons, and Scott
will have some more details around what that’ll look like. But I encourage you to
come out and check it out if you like to play with
some of this hardware. So once you’ve
gotten beacons, you bought them and you’re ready to
deploy them in the environment, you need to figure out what
URLs you want to broadcast, and we’ve designed this system
to be fairly flexible so that, as long as it’s not a malicious
URL that the proxy filters away, it’s something
that you can broadcast. But we want you
to use HTTPS URLs, and that’s because
we think HTTPS is table stakes for the
security of the modern web. And a lot of the
cool, new web platform features that you
might have been exposed to yesterday and over
the next few days, such as that push
notifications example and the Web Bluetooth
example that I showed you, require HTTPS in
the root domain. So the Chrome implementation
of the physical web only works with HTTPS URLs. This is true on Android
today, and it will soon be true on the iOS
implementation. So that’s that. You got to choose what HTTPS
URL you want to broadcast. And finally, you’ll
want to figure out how to manage your URL deployment. And what I mean by
this is, let’s say you configure your beacon
to broadcast a URL, but you want to change it later. It’s frustrating to
go close to it again and having to do a
hardware reconfiguration. Wouldn’t it be great
if you could manage it through the cloud? So using a URL redirector, just
an off-the-shelf redirector that lets you update the URL
server side, you can do this. So you simply place a
shortened URL onto the beacon, and then from the
redirector interface, you can simply update
the destination URL. So you don’t need to worry
about going in hardware and keeping your
configuration up-to-date. So I encourage you to go to
our website,, which we just newly
relaunched yesterday, to provide all sorts of demos
that can inspire you to show you how you can use
the Physical Web, and to give you a bunch of
getting started resources that bring this to life and help
you understand in more detail the steps that you need to
take to get started with the deployment. So with that, I
want to turn it over to Scott, who’s going to tell
you a little bit about where the Physical Web is going. [APPLAUSE] SCOTT JENSON: Thank you. OK. Thanks, Ani. Appreciate that. Now that you guys have got the
basic idea of what the Physical Web is and kind of a little
bit more how it works, let’s talk about the future. We’ve been very busy over
this last year producing a whole series of videos
that kind of push and show what you can do with
the Physical Web, and people have responded
very well to them. And these are all
on And they really show the
kind of leading edge things that you can do, and
it really opens up people’s eyes to the fact
that this is so much more than just a QR code. But what’s really
interesting about that is that what we’re trying to
get across is the Physical Web and the mobile web in particular
is more than just markup. Over the last couple
of years, it’s been really quite clear that the
web can’t just be desktop web. It’s got to be mobile web,
and it’s got to be responsive. But the Physical Web
is trying to take that one step further
and make it, effectively, the mobile web of nearby things
so that you really can, as Ani said, walk up and use anything. And so we’re trying
to figure out how to enable that kind
of really mobile web. And I want to talk
about the future in three kind of buckets. The first is going to
be web functionality. Ani kind of hinted
at this, as to where the web is going itself. The next I want to
talk about is hardware, because this is
changing very rapidly. And the final one is
just simply use cases. As a designer, I
spend an awful lot of my time working with
people, designing new products, and usually, the biggest
thing that holds us back is not the technology. It’s us. It’s how we think
about the technology. I want to talk about
that a little bit. So about web itself. Right now, it’s
just so easy to get started with the physical web. You just need a beacon
and you need a website. I get asked all the time. I love this question. So what’s the SDK
for the Physical Web? Uh, the web. I mean, that’s it. If you don’t have a website,
you can’t get started. That’s the whole point
of the Physical Web. It’s really quick and
light weight to do it. But even with that
snarky response, you can enable all sorts of
really exciting and interesting things. We made a lost dog finder,
movie posters, any type of information on demand. These aren’t really interactive. They’re just information
that you need in space. Ephemeral public interactions
are really good for this. So even this lowly,
simple web page, I think, has incredible value. So let’s take a look
at this next example here, which actually initially
came from an experiment on YouTube, and we
like it so much, we kind of made our own version. If someone could roll
the video please. So what this is showing
is the Physical Web discovering a beacon
of a nearby restaurant. It’s a little bit what Ani
was talking about before, but in this
particular case, it’s showing a restaurant
called Bob’s Deli. And then when you
click on it, it says, oh there’s eight people in line. Do you want to get in line. And so you click Yes. At that point, you’re opting
in to push notifications, in which case you’ve opted in. You could put the
phone to sleep. You could put it in your pocket. And then when it’s
your turn, the phone will vibrate and wake up. Now, the physical web
as a general scanner does not want to vibrate,
because it’s a generic service, but once you’ve opted in,
that’s a whole different story. And what I love about
this is that, A, this makes us look awesome,
but we did nothing. Right? This is the web being awesome. We got lucky. Right? And I think this is really
kind of an important point to make about the Physical Web
is that as the web gets better, we can just do more
and more stuff. Next slide, please. So the physical web, is
in a sense, this low bar. We’re just trying to just give
you the things around and let more things happen. So for example, there’s
HTML, there’s Web Sockets, there’s push notifications. These are all like the tinker
toys kind of lying at your feet that you can use right now to
build really compelling things, and we think that’s kind of fun. But let’s just step like
five minutes into the future and we can talk about
things like progressive web apps, which we’re talking
about a lot right now. You can use these right now. But then, as Ani showed,
web Bluetooth connect is really making
people’s eyes go wide, because it allows you to connect
to cheap, tiny little things that have no
connectivity whatsoever. And that’s still rolling
out, but it’s coming. It’s part of a W3C standard,
and people are starting to play with it right now. Obviously, someone already
had it turned on their phone just a few minutes ago, so you
know it’s available right now. By the way, at 1:00
PM on stage two is another talk called
What’s Next for the Web, and they’re calling out
a whole bunch of things, and they’re going to be
talking about in particular web Bluetooth. So if you’re interested in
that, please go to this talk. But if we want to
get more crazy, we’ve been having some really
interesting conversations effectively within
the GitHub talking about really crazy new ideas. Now, there’s no
promise here, there’s no real, immediate
things happening, but the fact that we’re having
passionate, fun conversations on our GitHub shows how excited
people can be about where the Physical Web could go. So for example, the next
generation web Bluetooth is going to be able to scan
Instead of just connecting to the device in
front of you, you can actually find
a range of devices. So go back to the
museum example. You could have a
whole bunch of URLs that all are, say, SF MOMA,
but they’re slightly unique. Exhibit one, exhibit
two, exhibit three. We can collapse all of those
so instead of seeing them individually in our scanner,
you just see San Francisco MOMA, and when you click on
it, it does the scanning, finds all of the related
beacons and then says, oh. I’ll show you the one
that you’re closest to. Or it could show you the list,
or it could show you a map. The point is, we don’t care. We are going to
allow everyone else to have their own experience. The Physical Web is meant to
be this little tiny jumping off point into your web experience,
and you can do anything that you want to
with it, and we feel that’s best because
we get out of the way, and that’s really important. It’s kind of one of the reasons
why the web is so awesome. We let you guys
build on top of us. But the other one that gets
a little bit more exciting is beacon triggers. So Service Worker
already allows you to register for events
like push notifications, but what would happen if you
could register for a beacon event? Your phone would
be in your pocket. You’d be walking around. You get close to a beacon,
you can actually get an event. The ServiceWorker can respond
to s and actually do something, and you’d never take the
phone out your pocket at all. This is a little bit
more blue sky thinking, but this is what we mean by
the future of the Physical Web. These are the kind
of directions we can go using exactly
the same technology. So the key thing to
remember about all these is that from our
point of view, we have a simple scanner
that lets you kind of find an app that uses
WebSockets, or something that uses web Bluetooth,
or even a simple HTML page. There’s all sorts of
different technologies that you guys can
use to implement it, but from the user’s point
of view, it’s just a list. And when they click on
it, they just go to it, and that’s what’s
really nice about it is that, from the
UX point of view, it’s just a list
that you click on, and depending on whatever
tinker toy you use, you can do your own thing. And again, it’s
one of the reasons why the web is so great, because
you have layered technologies. The physical web API
doesn’t need to grow is what I’m saying. Now let’s talk about hardware,
because it’s really stunned me how quickly the hardware has
changed, because initially, when I first started in
2014 on this project, we had beacons that
we were giving away that lasted about six
months on a battery. Last year, we released a beacon
that lasted for two years. And now with the brand new
chips that are coming out that only one volt, the same
beacon or the same battery could last nearly a decade. This is really changing rapidly. This is what Moore’s
law really means. And I often get people
who say, the physical web is an ecological disaster. We’re going to throw
batteries everywhere. Like, well, actually, it’s a
really good concern, thank you, but when we get this
low of a power thing, you can just put a solar cell
on it and it can run forever. And not only that,
it’s such low power that the solar cell can
generate more than enough to charge a capacitor
so it doesn’t run just during the day. It can run at night. So we’re getting
to the point now where these beacons
won’t need batteries in a very short period of time. So this is pretty exciting
stuff as to where that’s going. But there’s already
a company right now that makes a Physical
Web beacon that clips onto fluorescent lights,
and it has a solar cell in it, and it runs as long
as the light are on. I think that’s awesome. And that’s also why that we
are not in the beacon business, because we’re going to
let everybody else kind of do these really cool things. But then take a look at this. This is a beacon that was
developed by Google’s Verily team as an experiment. It’s the size of a nickel,
and for those of you not from the United
States, a nickel’s approximately 21
millimeters wide. And it is a teeny
little thing that runs on a teeny little
battery, and the battery lasts for about two months. And they’re actually
embarrassed, the Verily team was a
little embarrassed by this, because this is
their debug beacon. They claim they can easily
make it four times smaller, and in production in
probably two years, it would be, like, less than $1. So now we’re talking
about not only things that can last for a while, but
that can be very, very cheap. So imagine this
particular thing. Can we roll the video, please? This is a fake pill bottle
with a fake prescription and a fake address,
and my name on top that basically
shows a pill bottle with one of these little
beacons at the top. And the idea is that
the pharmacist will just pull the tab out and
start broadcasting, and because it uses
a URL redirector, you just simply scan
it and then point it to that particular
record, and then it can just show you in
your list, oh, look it. This is your Xyzal prescription. And then, using the web,
you can detect the language that the user wants, and so
you can change the language, you can show YouTube videos. If there’s a sensor
in the beacon, you can even tell when was the
last time you took the pill. It doesn’t need to
use web Bluetooth. It can be built into the URL. There’s really fun
things to do here. And again, this is just a
simple, lightweight HTML page, but it shows you,
as the hardware gets smaller and cheaper,
we can drive it into almost trivial
little things. And keep in mind that
this is going to broadcast extremely low power signal. So it’ll only be about
a half a meter away. So you have to be really
close to the thing in order to get it. Next slide, please. Now let’s move to my third
point about use cases, because if there’s one
thing I’ve noticed, it’s that the world has
kind of imprinted on beacons are for retail, and
every possible thing you ever want to
do with a beacon has got to be tracking
the user in a store. Makes me a little sad, you know? It’s like, there’s
so much more to it. So let’s kind of–
and it’s exciting, by the way, that
people are doing things like with vending machines, and
bus stops, and pill bottles. We actually are talking
to a company that wants to do this with pill bottles. And there’s fun
things are happening, but the really
exciting part, the part that gets me super
psyched, is the fact that this could be used
for personal things. So let’s say that
you’re in a room and you’re broadcasting
the URL to your slide deck, or you’ve got a for sale
beacon on your house, and instead of having
those pieces of paper that get wet in the rain or run
out, the can just pick it up as they walk by. And you know, our lost
dog collar example. And I really want to
go back to the example that Ani gave before
about the high school. That just made us
so excited when we saw that, because it’s
that kind of no permission, just go for it, just
do it is what’s so powerful about this technology. So we very much are excited
that a lot of big companies are interested, but we’re really
looking forward to these new, lighter weight things
that can happen. So let me show you a
particular demo of something that we could do with this. Can we have the WolfVision
turned on, please. I can’t see. Can you guys see this? Good. OK. So let me just switch
over to Twitter. One thing that we’ve
written is this little app called PW Share, at
it’s just something that we’ve internally. and it links into the
Android sharing mechanism. So anything that does sharing
an Android can call PW Share. So if you’re doing
a Google Map link, if you’re doing a Chrome web
page, anything you want to, you just can share it like
you’d share anything in Android. And so in this case, I’m
going to go into Twitter, and I am going to tweet
effectively, a photo of you guys. So can we please
just everyone wave? Thank you. Awesome. I’m sorry I didn’t get you guys. So I’m going to say yes, and I’m
going to say that looks good. I’m going to tweet. OK. So now that tweet is out. For those of you who
are following me, great, but I’m now going– I’m sorry. Can you see that now? Good. OK. So now all I have to do is
just click on the Tweet, go into share,
and then I’m going to scroll down to PW
Share, and the URL’s going to be going
URLs broadcasting. That’s all I had to do. Now, my phone is actually a
little bit like a beacon toy. Now, this is intentionally
set to a low power because you don’t want
to blast the world, but those of you guys that
are in the front rows, maybe halfway through, I
don’t know for sure, should be able to see my
tweet and be able to go to it. So this is, again, this type of
low level, light weight thing. Now, I’m not quite sure
sharing a tweet is necessarily the highest use
case, but sharing where you’re going for
a restaurant, where you guys are meeting
later, that kind of stuff. It’s just an example
of this lightweight way of thinking that we want
to kind of play with. So again, in summary,
these are the three points. The fact that the web
is getting awesome and it’s going to
make us look awesome and we don’t deserve it. Second, hardware is
getting really low power and small in really useful
ways, and three, these new use cases are going to make us think
outside of the typical kind of retail example. I also want to make
sure that I call out Leon’s talk on Friday at one
o’clock, The Physical Web, Make It So. It’s the developer
relations talk. It’s going to go deep,
deep, deep into how to really program websites
and so forth to really make this work, so please
be sure to attend this. And then finally,
as Ani said, this would be Google I/O
without a giveaway. We want to give away
a Physical Web beacon. We are not in the
beacon business. However, we’re very excited
to extend this open source way of thinking. So Nordic has already released
an open source version of their Eddystone beacon. This particular
beacon, we did with ARM and we’re releasing
it with them. And so this is going to
encourage other manufacturers to make more beacons. This is a slightly
more developer one. It has an on off switch,
which you probably wouldn’t do in a retail situation. But the point is,
for developers, it’s really hand to turn the
damn thing off sometimes. But this particular
beacon is handy because it also has
the Bluetooth Gatt service that lets
you configure it through a Bluetooth connection. So this is going to be the
world’s first beacon that is an Eddystone beacon that
broadcasts a Physical Web URL to a progressive
web app that then uses web Bluetooth to connect
to beacon and change the URL that’s being broadcast. It’s kind like a
snake eating its tail. But it kind of
encapsulates so much of what Google I/O is about. It’s the idea that these
technologies all work together to be kind of fun. And so the URL it
broadcasts is the URL that you need to change it. And so you just press it once
to turn on and press it once to turn off. So anyway, we’ll
talk about that. And so we will be giving
these away Friday at 3:00 PM. And so please come by
the mobile web sandbox. It’s approximately
there, and it’s next to the big,
giant, wooden bus boat thing, if you guys saw that. And so we’ll be there. We’re not going to be stamping
your hand or anything, so please be cool. We don’t have that many. Just please take one. The whole idea is for
you guys to play with it and poke around. In the meantime,
you’re more than welcome to use the beacon
toy, as we talked about. So that’s it for now. Thank you guys very much, and
we’ll take questions afterwards as we were done. Thank you so much. [APPLAUSE] [MUSIC PLAYING]

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