BLE connectivity to Web Apps

The Web Bluetooth API uses the GATT protocol, which enables apps to connect to devices such as light bulbs, toys, heart-rate monitors, LED displays and more with just a few lines of JavaScript. Web Bluetooth can also be combined with physical web beacons to make discovering nearby devices even easier.

https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2017/01/nic56

This can open up an interesting set of use cases, where it would make sense to have very closed loop interaction to accomplish a simple task. This would need hardware that is capable of receiving communication, which the physical web beacons available today are not capable of.

One of the use cases that we are working on at this moment is to switch ‘ON’ a certain set of lights/devices when the user wishes to in a restaurant. Till now, the implementation using off-the-shelf hardware involved making a connection to Cloud or using WiFi-Direct.

With Web Bluetooth (though it will take time for everyone to get the same level of access), this can be accomplished in a closed loop between the Smartphone (assuming the page is loaded) & the device. Some more demos are available at https://github.com/WebBluetoothCG/demos.

Is connecting every device to the Web a good idea?

One interesting side effect of this addition to Chrome would be the security & access control of these devices. Not everything needs to be connected to the Web and not everything needs to be controlled from the web. If a device can be made more secure if it is not connected to the internet and yet starts providing the convenience that a ‘Smart’ device is expected to provide, then that would deliver value to the consumer. This can lead to better but ‘Not connected to the web’ lightbulbs or other IoT devices. Local control of devices which may not be able to generate significant analytics to result in overall improvement of the device, will be better for everyone. This can have the same convenience as a web connected smart device might have, without the worry of allowing someone from the other side to connect to it.

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