Playing around with The Physical Web

It’s been a while since I heard the first time from The Physical Web Project, but was not until last Over the Air where I had the chance with @wilsonpage and others to try out my self a beacon, and be surrounded by multiple of this tiny URL emitters.

The concept is quite simple, but at the same time adds so many new paths, questions and possibilities that after some time, that is after restarting my work at Mozilla decided to give it a spin.

My first approach was pretty simple, I spend a lot of time in front of a browser. Firefox for Android and Firefox OS are my choices, when I’m in a mobile device. They take care of my privacy, synchronize tabs with my desktop, also sync passwords, bookmarks, history and are damn fast. So, with all the love that I have for the browser, what could be a better place than the browser to interact with the Physical Web?

I started coding on my spare time, first with the android version, since it’s been a while that I don’t contribute to that project and wanted to refresh my skills.

And just a couple of weeks ago I finished my hack, at the same time that Google Ubiquity conference was happening. I didn’t have the opportunity to attend but while watching it offline came to the Physical Web introduction video that you can watch below:

Scott Jenson talk was stunning and pretty inspirational. So many possibilities! But the thing that make me open my eyes the most was the announcement of Opera and Chrome considering to add the concept of the Physical Web to their browsers! \o/

Seems I was not that crazy! So after another couple of nights finally I managed to polish the hack. Integration of the Physical Web into Firefox for Android, still a lot to do, but it does work beautifully :)

No better place to find physical urls than your browser 😉

After talking with some people from the Firefox for Android team they commented that will be amazing to have it as an add-on, for that we still need to wait until Gecko catch up with the implementation of the W3C Web Bluethooth api, but that will be really soon!