When Physical Web functions are built into apps, consumer utility is enhanced, satisfaction is increased, and content owners get more relevant metrics from a wider, more engaged audience.
Our Physical Web Software Development Kit (SDK) makes it easy to enable any native iOS or Android app with the power of the Physical Web and works with any brand of Eddystone-URL formatted beacons.
Using the same technologies that power the Internet – browsers, URLs and websites – the Physical Web’s URL-based delivery means that existing web content can easily be repurposed for use in app-based proximity campaigns.
With this integration, app owners/administrators can deliver content in ways that were previously unavailable, unreliable, or only possible with labor intensive iBeacon deployments or imprecise geofencing location services.
The iOS and Android versions of the Nearby SDK are available to all PHY.net subscribers.
App users get the benefit of curated content, specifically filtered to a user’s preferences. This isn’t anything new on the app front, but what is new… even if someone does not have the app, they can still see content being broadcast by those nearby beacons with a conventional Physical Web browser. Now that Google’s Chrome browser supports the Physical Web on iOS and Android, a huge window of opportunity opens. Since Google made the Android announcement in mid-March 2016, 800+ million Android users have already begun to experience the Physical Web.
The benefit to those millions of viewers and marketers alike is that non-app users can become aware of app-only incentives, thereby funneling more users to download and use the brand’s app. When patrons become app users, willing to share their location via that app, marketers benefit from detailed analytics about location, frequency, etc.
PHY.net’s phyIQ™ feature can be customized to incorporate a virtually unlimited number of variables – user preferences, user location, security, content filters, multiple custom tags, etc. – each one helping deliver relevant information to a specific user at the perfect time. With PHY.net, app owners can curate Physical Web content on demand, on a schedule, or with information automatically driven by outside influences including inventory availability, traffic patterns, or even the weather.
App development is not cheap. For that reason, we have included a fully functioning Physical Web browser in the Nearby SDK. This empowers developers to customize the app with their own brand, eliminating much of the work involved in creating a custom app and speeding the time to market.
App owners can limit Physical Web access to just those beacons they control. As Physical Web deployments become more mainstream, users will appreciate these filtered/focused experiences. If a shopper in a retail store is sharing their personal LinkedIn profile from a personal Physical Web beacon, then the retailer can make sure store content moves to the top of the display, or that third-party content is not displayed at all.
One caution often raised about the Physical Web is the possibility of a bad person placing a beacon with a malicious website in an area where it can be accessed by unsuspecting consumers. While this same issue exists on the Web in general, it is something that can be effectively managed when Physical Web content is accessed through an app by blocking unapproved content. Enterprise and large retail app owners will appreciate the compliance controls of enhanced security and protection from potentially malicious content.
One beacon can provide multiple versions of content to multiple audiences. Imagine a single beacon in a big box retailer like The Home Depot®…
Using the PHY.net platform, there is no limit on this multifunction capability. Beacon owners can give access to an unlimited number of apps (and retain audit control over associated content).
This dramatic shift in the Physical Web and the concept of proximity marketing lowers the barriers to entry for small and large organizations alike, making it faster and easier for people to find information about the places and things around them.
The process of enabling an app with Physical Web functionality is simplified because the familiar “search display” of a browser is built into the Nearby SDK. By adding a Physical Web tab or button, the app can allow its users to instantly scan nearby content, which is presented as a list of web sites from which to choose.
This approach also allows richer content options. While most platforms supporting the iBeacon protocol default to the lowest common denominator of push messages, the ability to present content as a simple link to a website creates the greatest possible flexibility in content options.
Push messages are a primary draw for marketers to iBeacon tech. Reaching out at just the right time when information or a “deal” is available. In contrast, the Physical Web’s inherent nature is one of discovery, rather than notifications. Users are driven by curiosity, rather than prodding. Although we’re big proponents of the Physical Web, we see the value in both approaches.