Chrome 49 for Android beta can now chat with smart devices around you

Google's Eddystone Bluetooth beacons can now share URLs directly with Android devices, expanding the physical web.


The latest beta of Chrome for Android can tap into the expanding world of smart devices powered by Google’s Eddystone beacon technology.

While Chrome for iOS could already do this, version 49 of Google’s browser (only in beta for now) will be notified of available content. Such broadcasting is already in use in a number of different ways.

chrome eddystone Chromium Blog

The Physical Web can now send links and other tidbits to you if you’re running the latest build of Chrome for Android.

As the Chromium Blog notes, the Golden State Warriors use the Physical Web to ping fans with highlight videos when they enter the arena. There’s also a middle school that uses beacons to circulate class notes, news updates, and sports accomplishments.

Google says there were 1,500 of such beacons in use at CES this year to share information about nearby exhibits. The company is also pushing this technology through a research grant for further work on IoT devices.

You can grab Chrome for Android Beta 49 in the Play Store.

Why this matters: The future of the Internet lies in smart, connected devices. Google and others want to build in a deeper layer of connectivity with everything from your television to parking meters, which will all be about to talk to your phone. Google’s advantage in this space is that it can make such processes cross-platform since they communicate with Chrome on Android and iOS. With this year’s I/O Conference set for the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, expect a lot of talk about the Physical Web, virtual reality, and other smart devices.

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