Internet of Things: Possible Without Apps?

Google_Chrome_icon_(2011)As the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to expand in both consumer and enterprise markets, it’s no surprise that internet giant Google is already looking to take IoT to the next level.

A recent project entitled The Physical Web seeks to provide on demand interaction. Rather than having to download different mobile apps, users could simply walk up to something and receive information—no additional software needed.

Just the other day, I was waiting at the bus stop. I wondered how long until the next bus. I had the app on my phone at some point, but after a factory reset, it was no longer there and I didn’t want to take the time to download it, especially without a WiFi connection.

Consumers want information, and they want it immediately. No one wants to take the time or go through the hassle of downloading an app while on the go. That’s why this ambitious project is the future of smart devices.

“People should be able to walk up to any smart device – a vending machine, a poster, a toy, a bus stop, a rental car – and not have to download an app first. Everything should be just a tap away, ” said Scott Jenson, an interaction and UX designer leading The Physical Web project.

If you’re thinking that this would only work with Android devices, then think again. Unlike Apple, Google is all about an open source community (even the project itself is shared on GitHub) and they want to create a standard that can be used by everyone. A shared standard would allow ease of connection with multiple devices, but as we saw with the iPhone 6 release, Apple might not be ok with that.

Although the technology is still in development, and thus an accepted open standard is even farther on the horizon, an Internet of Things that doesn’t require any sort of software from the smart device would definitely be ideal.

Learn more about Google and The Physical Web.