The model is simple. Small wireless devices known as “beacons” broadcast standard URLs and are located where content is needed. After that, visitors access these URLs with their smartphones to visit web-based content (websites). The experience is the same as with the familiar browser, except that proximity is the automatic search parameter rather than a typed search term.


The common interface for iOS is that a user “swipes down” on their mobile display to trigger a scan for nearby content. Alternately, a user opens a dedicated Physical Web browser (sometimes referred to as Physical Web scanners) to see a list of nearby content, sorted by proximity.


The Physical Web logo is the universal symbol that Physical Web content is available.  Its presence is a visual signal to consumers that Physical Web content is available at that location.  For example, if consumers see this symbol in the window of a restaurant, they know they can scan to access the restaurant’s menu or specials; or on a retail display, they can see product information and promotions.

The Physical Web is a powerful tool to put useful information in front of consumers.

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What is the Physical Web

By enabling a beacon browser on your smartphone, you can now explore the Physical Web around you, and see all the potential for your brand.
This frictionless, unobtrusive tech allows you to directly engage shoppers, by giving them relevant information, right when and where they need it.

The Physical Web Influences Action by informing shoppers, enabling them to make more educated shopping decisions and Guides their experience, providing a more efficient path to purchase.






It’s an open initiative to eliminate friction from people’s interaction with their surroundings. The Physical Web offers a universal way to interact with any smart device – a vending machine, a poster, a menu, a parking meter, a retail display – without first having to download an app, where everything is just a tap away.


The Physical Web is an open source project first started by google to bring location-based content and interaction to the mass market. It offers the browser as an alternative user interface to the app-based model made popular with the iBeacon, and it promises a model that can scale.


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