Physical Web for Presenters

7 Aug 2015

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I was at a very interesting meetup (Cambridge Internet of Things) yesterday.

Alongside a thought-provoking presentation about online privacy and cloud computing, I learnt about the Physical Web project.

Scott Jenson explained the aims and the activities that are well underway. I’m a geek, I get excited by such things and my mind runs ahead.

As I watched people holding up smartphones to capture the projected slides, presumably to grab details, it occurred to me that giving a presentation might be a great physical web use case.

Imagine if, when a presenter flashes up a link, I don’t try to capture it with my camera, to try to unblur and type in later. Instead, I pull down a list of nearby physical web beacons, find the presenter’s and get connected to the link straight away.

Now if physical web beacons could be dynamic - that is, their transmitted URL could be changed in sync with the slides of a presentation - that would open up some really fun interactivity possibilities.

Thinking about it, if the presenter’s laptop emitted even an unchanging-but-unique-to-the-presentation URI, the laptop could send information about the current slide up to somewhere in the cloud anyway, and effectively achieve the same result as a ‘dynamic’ beacon. (Technically, this might be the same number of ‘moving parts’, just in different places. It depends how easy/hard it is to conceive of a beacon whose URL can change dynamically).

I also liked this example which illustrates some of the possibilities - a smart meeting room

Also - the photo here is almost an example of a metaphoto - hoorah

Tags: geeky, webmaster