Publish “hot deals” through the Google Physical Web

The Physical Web, a project from Google’s Chrome team, is an open source approach to allow physical devices (e.g. a vending machine, a poster, a toy, a bus stop, a rental car) to broadcast URL around providing an access to information or remote control.

Google provides phone Apps that allow the user to discover the brocasted URL and use them to access web pages, javascript apps or nativ apps to get information about the device or remote control them.

Get more info about the physical web here: http://google.github.io/physical-web/

More on this Google video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yaLPRgtlR0

This tutorial describes steps to publish a store “hot deals” as a picture on the Physical Web. Without any technical knowledge, you’ll be able to use a Raspberry Pi to brodcast URLs around that can be seen with the nativ apps.

We’ll use two steps:

  • publish a picture on the Internet with postimage.org
  • broadcast that picture URL with the Pi using the Physical Web bluetooth protocol.

After that, any customer using the Physical web app on his phone will have access at the URL and then the picture, displaying the “Hot Deals” of your store.

Except for Pi3, you need a Bluetooth 4.0 dongle (you can buy it here http://adafru.it/1327) and it should be plugged in a USB port of the TimeSquAir

Publish a “hot deals” picture on the internet

Your hot deals web page must be available through internet. There are several solutions and the chosen one here is postimage.org:

Upload your hot deals image on postimage.

​Copy the Direct Link of your hot deals. Also copy the given URLs to reuse them later if needed (as the deletion link).

Shorten URL

Because the length of the broadcasted URL should be short, we have to use an URL shortener.

Let’s use the Google shortener http://goo.gl.

Copy your long hot deals URL and note the shortened version.

Access the visual editor from your browser

Enter the name address of the Pi into the address bar of your browser (see here for details).

Install the Eddystone node

Click the right menu in the Node-RED web page. Click Import > node.

Type node-red-contrib-eddystone in the edit box and click the OK button:

This imports a third party software. The installation may take up to 5 minutes (a progress bar shows the progress), depending on what is already installed on your Pi.

At the end, click the reboot button to restart the Raspberry Pi.

Step 8 : Build a flow.

Use the menu Import / lib / PhysicalWeb demo 1 to add an already available flow

Here is the flow:

“Eddystone” is the name of the protocol used to broadcast the URL with Bluetooth.

Enter the URL to broadcast

Double click the Eddystone node to enter the URL to broadcast:

Activate and broadcast your URL

Click the top-right “Activate” button.

A “Stopped” status appears on the eddystone node to indicate that it’s actually not broadcasting.

Then, click the “Go” button on the flow and the status on the Eddystone node becomes “broadcasting”.

Access your hot deals thanks to the Physical Web

Use the Physical Web application (available on Android and iOS) to browse the broadcasted URL and look at the hot deals picture.

More

The second demo PhysicalWeb demo 2 shows how to stop the broadcasting:

Credits

This instructable uses the (great) work

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