SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Developers who want a head start enabling physical objects to communicate with smart phones and other personal gadgets can now order Blesh PW Beacons and the Blesh PW App http://www.blesh.com/ and participate in the public project called "The Physical Web", https://github.com/google/physical-web an initiative that plans to let people walk up to smart objects and with a single tap interact with them on demand.
"Physical Web" beacons give intelligence to everyday objects and do much more than simply broadcast a message such as an advertisement. The beacon broadcasts a URL that is recognized by the user's mobile device and works together with mobile search without the need for any other custom app.
The Blesh PW Beacons are tiny low-cost Physical Web stick-on devices that weigh less than an ounce. They broadcast a URL via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) smart signals that can give intelligence to physical objects and let nearby Android devices such as smart phones interact with them to initiate tasks, obtain information, pay for purchases or simply identify themselves to the object.
Physical Web beacons can be programmed to link to rich, dynamic web-based content and functionality. When a user device (such as a smart phone or wearable) approaches, the beacons simply announce their presence and allow users to take the next step to initiate the dialogue or action. For instance, while waiting for the next bus at their usual bus stop, the beacons can deliver details about the arrival of the next bus, let users select goodies from a vending machine and even pay for them using their smart devices. Or, in a PW Beacon-enabled department store, they can see whether an item is on sale, whether the item is in stock and be guided to where it is located.
Blesh PW Beacons come with a standard URL that can be edited and customized and managed using the Blesh PW App. Aside from managing the broadcast URLs, the app also provides the firmware updates for the beacons. The Blesh PW App is available on the Google Play store and provides the communications protocols between the beacons and smart phones. More functionality will be added as discussions on the open Physical Web project continue.
Unlike QR codes that require a user to focus on an image, or NFC which has a range of only seven inches, BLE has a range of 54 yards, an important point to consider in such applications as guiding a user through a dynamic facility such as a stadium, an airport or crowded retail store.
"We are pleased that Blesh is ready to bring its PW Beacons to the market in a complete kit that will accelerate development of a new standard that will sort out and provide control over the Internet of Things," said Scott Jenson of the Physical Web team. "Because of the low price point of beacons and open source development, businesses large and small can participate and help make the Physical Web a reality."
"We encourage developers to let their imaginations run wild," said Devrim Sonmez, CEO of Blesh. "We see even non-smart phone devices such as wearables communicating with Blesh PW beacons making possible an ecosystem that blurs the edge between physical items and the web."
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
The Blesh PW kit is available for US$50 and consists of three Blesh PW beacon devices. The kits ship anywhere in the world.
The Physical Web is an open experimental project and is available for participation by any developer. For more info, go to:
For more information, visit http://www.blesh.com