Controlling home devices with the Physical Web and Progressive Web Apps
The Internet of Things is complex and at times confusing. There are many out there who would agree with me. It is just that they do not say it. The devices that were created for our ease and convenience have become utterly complicated and at times, if I may say frustrating. Going through a trivial process of finding the app for controlling a device and then using it is exasperating in most cases. Who would not get annoyed if he had to find an appropriate app from among a million of apps in the app store. And if the search was not enough, the whole process and wait in downloading the app takes away every bit of patience left in the user. From reading the maddening small-font text to waiting for the download to happen, every single task in choosing the right app is many a times infuriating. For instance, what if to run a simple Blu-Ray player, you would have to download an app so that without even touching the remote you can perform all the functions by using the app. You may find the idea very cool but what if the series of events from downloading to using the app is painful. Eventually you would just put in the disc and play the movie with the help of the remote.
But again, the world demands solutions that can make their day-to-day chores simple and let the users focus on other critical issues of life. Future for physical web and PWAs is bright. More people are in the lookout of ways that can help them monitor and handle their home devices by just a tap at their smartphone-screens. The future is rich and great for devices that come embedded with API and web servers. Let me give a glimpse of the magical future.
Physical web has enabled us to understand the importance of objects that we are surrounded with. Physical Web is an open approach. It allows us to seamlessly as well as quickly interact with location and physical objects around us. Physical web has allowed us to reach to everything in just a single touch. Just imagine you are tap away from a bus stop, car parking, or a museum. With the help of physical web, you can walk up to any object and interact with it. A poster or a toy, or anything, without even installing the app, you can interact with all of them easily. Also, the physical web allows you to visit web pages that you feel is useful for you that are associated with the space you live in or the environment that surrounds you.
Imagine an object offering endless information to you. When anything can offer information or utility, the possibilities become endless. Now how does it work? Basically, physical web enables the user to see a whole list of URLs that an object around him broadcasts. How is this done? If you have heard about Beacons you must have also heard about Bluetooth low energy or BLE that are a low powered battery efficient device that can easily broadcast content via Bluetooth. Since these devices support the Eddystone protocol specifications, devices including Google Chrome or even Nearby Notification can easily scan this information and display it see the user in a meaningful manner.
Now moving forward to progressive web apps. Who wouldn’t want to dump the traditional native mobile or web methodologies and bring about a host of advantages that progressive web apps offer. With benefits like no installation required, no updating required, highly portable, instant loading, home screen presence, fresh content, highly responsive, less intrusive, has native app interfaces, can be shared, can be linked, and can be discovered by a several search engines, progressive web apps have certainly become hot cakes.
Popular examples such as Flipkart, Air Berlin, and Google Progressive Web App have come up with the initiative of bringing progressive web app in our daily lives. The PWAs and Physical Web have become reality and are making their presence felt in the lives of several targeted audience. The day is not far that each one of us would be controlling their home appliances such as air conditioners, video players, television, and much more with the help of Physical Web and PWAs.