For the past two years, Nashville-based firm BKON Connect has offered its PHY platform in support of the browser-based Physical Web.
In the Google-driven but open Physical Web, small beacons in the real world broadcast URLs, so nearby users with a Chrome or other compatible mobile browser can check out relevant web page content associated with those real-world locations.
For example, customers might look at the menu of a restaurant while standing outside on the street, simply by clicking a link in their mobile browser that has been broadcast from that establishment’s beacon.
The Eddystone-protocol beacons in this Physical Web differ from regular beacons, which simply broadcast a location identifier to a supported app, which then pings a retailer’s server to call up info. You have to first download the app supported by that retailer, and then the info appears in the app only after the retailer’s server recognizes the location and sends the appropriate content to the app.
But BKON is now pointing to another way of exploring the real world.
It has recently expanded its PHY platform beyond supported browsers, and beyond the Physical Web, to use cases where people can immediately see content on their phone from three kinds of interactive touch points in the real world.
The company has issued a software development kit (SDK) for any iOS or Android app that turns it into a kind of browser for real-world content summoned by QR codes, NFC (Near-Field Communication) tags or Physical Web beacons.