Published on May 27, 2016
1. Immaterials: Light Painting Wi-ﬁ explored the invisible terrain of WiFi networks in urban spaces by light painting signal strength in long-exposure photographs. physical web exploring the a workshop for UX Lisbon 2016
2. • A brief history • Understanding Physical Web and Web Bluetooth. • Three key use cases. • Design considerations Coffee Break :-) • Group exercise (~35 minutes) • Group discussion (~45 minutes) Workshop agenda
3. In this workshop, we will discuss the Physical Web and Web Bluetooth: two unrelated but highly complimentary technologies that enable us to create signposts and pathways between the web and physical world.
4. Image source: Wired The number of smart devices is going to explode, and the assumption that each new device will require its own application just isn't realistic. We need a system that lets anyone interact with any device at any time… [this] isn’t about replacing native apps, it’s about enabling interaction when native apps just aren't practical. — Scott Jenson, Physical Web Lead, Google “
5. 1. A brief history 5
6. The Physical Web isn’t our ﬁrst attempt to place digital markers within the physical world. Most older approaches in fact are still in use as they serve slightly different use cases.
7. QR codes (Japan, 1994) Invented for use in retail but rapidly adopted across industries. Advantages • Cheap to implement and distribute. • Can hold up to 1000 bytes of data. • Easily discoverable. Disadvantages • Hard to scan from a distance. • Many people think they’re ugly. • Most people (outside Asia) don’t have a QR code reader.
8. QR codes (Japan, 1994) • Invented for use in retail but rapidly adopted across industries. • Advantages • Cheap. Easy to implement. • Disadvantages (practical) • Hard to scan from a distance. • One to one: If you’re close enough to scan the code then (probably) no-one else can scan it. • Disadvantages (sociocultural) • Most people (outside Asia) don’t have a QR code reader. • Many people think they’re ugly. RFID, NFC (1983, 2002) • Both employ radio signals to exchange data between nearby objects. Advantage • Proximity often requires explicit user action, which improves trust, and makes these technologies ideal for payment and identiﬁcation. Disadvantage • Poor discoverability. Must be signposted or rely on learned behaviour. British Airways NFC + e- paper baggage tag prototype
9. Proximity marketing 1.0 (2004) • A small server broadcasts short messages, images, mp3s etc. into a space using Bluetooth. Disadvantage • Anyone nearby with Bluetooth turned on received the broadcast. • Was mostly used for advertising so became a form of spam (which forced many people to shut Bluetooth off). https://www.flickr.com/photos/voyages-provence/13541325644
10. Apple iBeacon (2013) • Small battery powered Beacons broadcast messages to iOS + Android apps using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). • Only the app that matches the beacon ID recognizes the broadcast. Advantage • Users aren’t bombarded with messages from brands they don’t already have a relationship with. Disadvantage • Users without the speciﬁc app that matches the beacon can’t discover/take advantage of the data or service it provides. *kontakt.io beacon shown
11. iBeacon On iOS, a user’s app will automatically receive a broadcast each time it passes by a beacon—even if the app is in background mode or switched off. Advantage • If a user walks by several beacons, it’s therefore possible track their path and use it to trigger location-relevant offers or notiﬁcations (i.e. a user’s gate number when they enter the airport). Disadvantage • Potential privacy concerns. • Even if the user likes a brand, automatically triggered notiﬁcations can rapidly become annoying.
12. The goal of the Physical Web isn’t to replace these technologies, but to address some of their challenges by leveraging the ‘super- powers’ of URLs and the open, flexible, decentralised and universally supported web.
13. 2. How does the Physical Web work? 15
14. The Physical Web (PW) is an open-source* project. Google initiated the technology, and has the most widespread implementation (~800m devices) through Chrome on Android and iOS—but there’s already a large ecosystem of other contributors. It’s all open source! *Visit GitHub to download the source and/or contribute to these conversations.
15. 1. The beacon (a thing that broadcasts a URL) The Physical Web is pretty simple—it has three parts 2. The scanner/browser (a thing that scans for, retrieves and displays a list of URLs) 3. Proxy (user advocate) optional cloud service The speciﬁcations for all three are open source.
16. What is a beacon? BLE radio transmitter (intermittently on, sips power compared to regular BT) low-cost, long-life (~2yrs) battery or other power source many beacons also include some form of remote management appThis beacon is by Estimote (but there are many others) many sizes and form factors
17. A beacon’s (only) job is to repeatedly* transmit a signal that other devices can see. The message itself is transmitted using a BLE ‘advertising packet’, a standard broadcast format limited to 17 bytes. Once in range, Bluetooth-equipped devices like a smartphone can “see” the beacon and receive its broadcast (if BT is switched on). *recommended every 700 milliseconds broadcast range What it does
18. Unidirectional broadcast The Bluetooth ‘advertising’ function is by-design unidirectional. • A single beacon can advertise to multiple nearby smartphones but these devices cannot send data back to the beacon. • Beacons also cannot physically detect when clients scans them so cannot track passers-by.
19. to broadcast URLs could also be attached or embedded into all sorts of smart (and otherwise dumb) things around us https://www.flickr.com/photos/naan/2398024748 …in the near future, the ability Permanently broadcasts “I love you” Turn me off from a distance Change my colour! Check what materials i’m made of when Craigslisting me. Understand how I work and where to recycle me
20. 2. The scanner/browser As the beacons broadcast URLs, the most common scanners are (and will probably remain?) web browsers. Chrome Android + iOS ~800M devices Opera (Labs browsers) Mozilla (Beta) Microsoft Edge (coming soon) Safari Mobile ????
21. Unlike iBeacon, there is however no background scanning. All scanning for URLs must be user-initiated. As the Physical Web is new, users will probably not scan unless they’re aware of nearby content, or notice the logo. (This is how the ‘normal’ web began as well :-)
22. How do you ‘scan’ (in Chrome) A user opens their Android Notiﬁcation screen or Today Widget on iOS. If there are beacons nearby, they will see a low priority (no vibration) notiﬁcation. Tapping the notiﬁcation displays a list of all beacons within range, showing their URL, page title, description and favicon*. …displayedinorderofproximity *see this article for details of metadata retrieval in each browser (Behaviour varies by browser)
23. And then…? https://webPage.io That’s (technically) it. The beacon’s job is done. All subsequent interactions between the user and brand take place ‘on the web’. https://shortURL.io user taps to load the page (on the internet —the beacon does not serve the page)
24. The proxy sits in between the beacon and the user. A proxy is optional but serves two important purposes: improve performance and protect the user. The Chrome proxy is called the Physical Web Service (PWS). Other browsers have a similar (but probably not identical) service. 3. The proxy *more details on the PWS and its role
25. What it does https://shortURL.io 2 1 (based on Google’s PWS…each proxy is a bit different) parses the document to extract metadata• ﬁnal URL • page title • description • favicon
26. What it does https://shortURL.io BEACONS BOOKMARKTOP SITES Search or enter address Haro Sushi and Izakaya haro-sushi.com Hons on Robson hons-noodles.com 2 analysis + optimisation 4 1 one-way broadcast (based on Google’s PWS…each proxy is a bit different) parses the document to extract metadata 3 • ﬁnal URL • page title • description • favicon
27. Security + privacy Masks the user’s device information from a web site until the user has chosen to interact with it. Ensures site doesn’t contain SPAM or malicious content. De-duplication* If several beacons with the same URL are used within a space the user's will only see one URL. Optimisation Augments and enriches the basic results to improve usefulness and usability. e.g. sorting, ranking and ﬁltering for relevance User beneﬁts *Chrome only (for now)
28. Miscellaneous FAQ
29. HTTPS only (on Chrome*) All communications between your browser and the website are encrypted. All interactions are ‘on the web’ Once a user selects a site, all subsequent interactions take place on the web so automatically conform to privacy-preserving behaviours such as opting-in to enable geolocation or web notiﬁcations. Q: Are any other user safeguards built in? *For now. Other scanners will hopefully emulate this.
30. No. There are many ways to broadcast a URL. Today, the Physical Web uses BLE because of its ubiquity on mobile devices today. Additionally, it is highly energy efﬁcient—many bluetooth beacons today have multi-year battery lives. The hope however, is that other useful formats will be supported. Two strong candidates are mDNS and uPnP—transport protocols that enables users who are logged into wi-ﬁ to discover beacons broadcasting on that same wi-ﬁ network. Q: Will/does the Physical Web only support BLE? See Github for the latest discussions on mDNS
31. An outstanding issue with wi-ﬁ based protocols is that the devices that are most likely to broadcast this way (e.g. TVs, printers, smart home appliances) will most likely broadcast a local IP address rather than a public URL. The (cloud-based) proxy will therefore not be able to follow this link to retrieve the page title and description, perform customary security checks, or further optimise the discovery experience. Challenges with wi-ﬁ based discovery See Github for the latest discussions on local IP-based discovery.
32. Eddystone is a new open source protocol speciﬁcation from Google that deﬁnes a BLE message format for proximity interactions. Eddystone broadens what can be done with beacons by broadcasting up to four formats (or ‘frame’ types): • Eddystone UID, EID and TLM—Which all work with apps and enable interactions similar to iBeacon. • Eddystone URL—Which the Physical Web is now based on and works with a browser. Q: What is Eddystone?
33. Thought experiment: Does the scanner have to be a browser?
34. No. The browser is merely an app that incorporates the Physical Web speciﬁcation. This speciﬁcation is open source, so companies could build the ability to “see” Physical Web URLs into other apps.
35. “…the watches glow and vibrate when you walk somewhere in the real world that corresponds with somewhere in Pokémon Go's virtual world” Source: The Verge - Pokemon Go Plus hands on photos
36. https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8122856863 …an antenna implanted in his skull allows him to ‘hear’ the racks upon racks of brightly coloured packaging in the aisles as a sensor converts colour frequencies into sound. - Vice: The Creator’s Project “ artist Neil Harbisson
37. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" painted by Neil Harbisson. which means Neil can listen to paintings… TED: I listen to color and also paint everything he hears. Each colour is assigned an audible frequency,
38. 3. Three key use cases 40
39. Use case 1: Pure discovery (“A much smarter QR code”) Use case 2: Interact with moderately “smart” things Use case 3: Directly control an object
40. tadaslab on Instagram “Call a taxi” button attached to a tree #iot “…the signiﬁcance of technologies such as RFID and 2D barcoding is that they offer a low impact way to import physical objects into the datasphere—to endow them with an informational shadow. - Adam Greenﬁeld
41. Seriously? Is that it? That’s only marginally more useful than typing a URL yourself, or just googling it… https://www.flickr.com/photos/neilghamilton/10389735244 url/greatKurdishFoodNearby
42. …unless you’re waaaaay at the back top range for beacons is currently ~100m (300ft) and while a wider smart poster range will drain more power, this poster is powered, so that’s ok https://www.flickr.com/photos/alsaarom/8258444009
43. Tube, DLR, London Overground Part closureLondon Overgroud Part closureNorthern Service closedWaterloo & City Good service on all other lines Average wait at North Entrance is 12 minutes https://www.flickr.com/photos/oatsy40/24775669489/ you can also dynamically deep-dive to the exact content that suit a user’s context and location
44. https://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/marketingfacts/6323249188/ ...in Korea, grocery stores are embedded on Subway platforms where users scan QR codes to buy items that are delivered just-in-time for dinner
45. Snapchat Geoﬁlters are small content bundles that become available once a user reaches a given (geofenced) place. instead of merely delivering information, the URL could provide a location-relevant utility or experiential application
46. …or attach URLs to a “thing” whose identity is more important https://www.flickr.com/photos/morebyless/14246207164 Hi, i’m Narelle! Ask me anything about vikings (or join my class on Thursdays and Sundays at 14:00). REGISTER than its context
47. Miscellaneous FAQ
48. By design, the Physical Web does not push messages (and it will hopefully remain this way). You can however expand on its base behaviours by combining it with other web technologies. For example… Q: Is it possible to push messages or notiﬁcations from a Physical Web beacon?
49. https://www.flickr.com/photos/sfj/288526372 Yikes, as you can see, we’re *really* busy! There’s about a 20 minute wait, but our sister location Oishii still has three tables. JOIN WAITLIST SHOW ME OISHII BOOK ANOTHER DAY once the table is ready customers can add their names to Scenario: a wait-list and receive a notiﬁcation
50. 1. Once a user has joined the queue, ask her to opt-in* to Web Push Notiﬁcations. These will be managed by a Service Worker—a new web standard that enables the browser to run scripts in the background—even when the page is not open. 2. Once the customer’s table is ready, a web service will message the service worker, that will then trigger the push notiﬁcation. User-centered push notiﬁcation (…an example) *opting-in is a default requirement for privacy sensitive web standards such as Geolocation and Push Notiﬁcations
51. Use case 1: Pure discovery (“A much smarter QR code”) Use case 2: Interact with moderately “smart” things Use case 3: Directly control an object 50
52. Most “smart” things we use these days are not that smart. While they can often be controlled using an app, very rarely does the app “speak” directly to the thing. A brief “smart thing” primer…
53. Instead, the app often communicates with the cloud, or a local hub (or ‘bridge’) which then relays the command to the device.
54. 1 Issue a command: ”Lamp on!” For example…
55. 1 cloud service API The bridge in your home receives the command via wi-ﬁ. 2 For example… Issue a command: ”Lamp on!”
56. 1 cloud service API The bridge in your home receives the command via wi-ﬁ. 2 3 It transmits the command (P2P) to nearby bulbs For example… Issue a command: ”Lamp on!”
57. 1 cloud service API The bridge in your home receives the command via wi-ﬁ. 2 3 It transmits the command (P2P) to nearby bulbs If other bulbs are too far from the bridge, the closest bulb uses a mesh network to pass the message along 4 For example… Issue a command: ”Lamp on!”
58. 1 cloud service API The bridge in your home receives the command via wi-ﬁ. 2 3 It transmits the command (P2P) to nearby bulbs If other bulbs are too far from the bridge, the closest bulb uses a mesh network to pass the message along 4 For example… smart pretty smart less smart less smart less smart less smart smart Issue a command: ”Lamp on!”
59. …by extending this pattern to the web we can create all sorts of rich and yet casual interactions while completely bypassing the friction of ﬁrst downloading an app https://www.flickr.com/photos/charlottemorrall/3778508426 GUMBOT Bet you don’t have a quarter? Am I right or am I right? GUMBOT No sweat. How about one of these? That’ll be $0.25 please.
60. And once you reconsider how “smart” a device needs to be to create a useful (and convincing) experience—you may also want to reconsider the term ‘device’.
61. https://www.flickr.com/photos/neo_ii/7483010074 Now playing LOGIN with SPOTIFY VOTE FOR THE NEXT SONG I Didn’t see it coming Belle and Sebastian Monthly special for Spotify members. Log in to redeem your complementary virtual jukebox credit and choose a song we will play in the next 18 minutes. the music system…or the café itself? in this scenario, is ‘the device‘
62. https://www.flickr.com/photos/charlottemorrall/3778508426 PS - Android users can even download the native app directly from the plane :-) Air Canada Rouge replaced their seat-back entertainment system with a web app whose content is streamed from within the plane to a passenger’s personal device (or a rented iPad). Anyone with a browser can access the service—but passengers are incentivised to download the app to access premium content.
63. Use case 1: “A much smarter QR code” Use case 2: Interact with moderately “smart” things Use case 3: Directly control an object 60
64. Web Bluetooth is an open web standard that enables users —in a secure and privacy-preserving way—to discover smart devices, communicate with them, and use a web page to directly control them.
65. Support levels The technology is completely separate from the Physical Web but highly complimentary. It is nearing launch on Chrome and is currently testable behind a Chrome ‘flag’. Chrome Android + iOS (behind Dev flag) Opera (Labs browser) Mozilla (Experimental) Microsoft Edge (coming soon?) Safari Mobile ????
66. Built-in security features HTTPS Only All communications between your browser and the website (and in this case, the object) are encrypted. User Gesture Required As a security feature, discovering nearby Bluetooth devices must be called via a user gesture like a touch or mouse click. FitBit Heart Rate Monitor GO9
67. Visit the thing’s URL e.g. shown on the thing’s package, accessible via QR code, Physical Web beacon Tap to connect. You can now interact with the device! 4 How it works: Device discovery and pairing 1 Choose device and grant permission to pair with the device. 2 Parrot Drone 3 CONNECTED success! PAIR Playbill candle
68. …one more thing
69. One neat thing about BLE—is that you can also use it to create new (personalized) web UIs for known devices*. *whose services are exposed with the necessary read/write permissions.
70. • A standardised way for BLE devices to advertise their services to the outside world. • Each device has services (e.g. battery service) which has characteristics (e.g. battery level: 0-100). • BLE has a list of generic services for common devices such as, but products can also create their own. • The value of a characteristics can be read, you can also write to it and request notiﬁcations* when the value changes. *the web app (not the user) receives the notiﬁcations and uses them to update the UI as needed Bluetooth (Generic Attributes) GATT 101
71. Each of these examples, taken by itself, is modestly useful. Taken as a whole, however, they imply a vast "long tail" where anything can offer information and utility. — Scott Jenson, Google “ https://www.flickr.com/photos/jsome1/1243493095
72. 4. Design considerations 70
73. It used to be fairly straightforward for users to understand what a thing was, what it could do, and how to make it do those things. Photo of Sniff by Timo Arnall on Flickr, used with permission Sniff - the RFID enabled toy dog
74. With IoT (and connected things in general) this becomes far more challenging. Photo of Sniff by Timo Arnall on Flickr, used with permission speaker RFID reader vibration motor battery vibration motor
75. The conceptual model is the understanding and expectations you want the user to have of the system. What components does it have, how does it work, and how can they interact with it? It’s the mental scaffolding that enables users to ﬁgure out how to interact with your service.” — Claire Rowland “
76. 1 cloud service API 2 3 4 The system might in reality do this… Issue a command: ”Lamp on!” The bridge in your home receives the command via wi-ﬁ. It transmits the command (P2P) to nearby bulbs If other bulbs are too far from the bridge, the closest bulb uses a mesh network to pass the message along
77. But (if you’re lucky) the user sees (something like) this…
78. It’s OK for a user’s conceptual model to be incorrect, so long as this doesn’t prevent them from easily and safely operating the product. But (if you’re lucky) the user sees (something like) this…
79. The whole point of using the web to interact with things and spaced is it to enable random, often one-time interactions that occur ‘in the wild’. In this context (whether we like it or not) there will often be little time or incentive for a user to ‘properly’ learn how things work. https://twitter.com/collision/status/729166303253041152
80. The guidelines in this section tend to work best the more of them you implement. The ultimate goal is to enable users to quickly and easily develop a useful and plausible conceptual model.
81. i. Tune the brain’s broadcast range Tune the range to aid discoverability and clarify the relationship between the object and the space it inhabits.
82. *The advertising range can drop signiﬁcantly if adjacent to walls which are made of metal or brick. BLE has a typical unobstructed broadcast range of 70-100m*. Most beacons allow you to adjust their beacon’s transmission power—which will in effect—adjust this range. An ideal setting prioritises user context while being mindful of beacon battery life (>power = >battery consumption). Sample beacon range for a Kontakt.io beacon.
83. Unnecessarily wide or greatly overlapping ranges can result in premature discovery, introduce ambiguity and increase cognitive load.Is there actual value in being able to “see” this parking meter’s URL from 100m away? Are you merely creating noise?
84. Tuning the range to minimise or avoid overlap can reduce friction, minimise errors, and increase trust in the overall service.
85. This is particularly important if the service has a cost (…which in the case of a vending machine might prove a minor inconvenience, while in the case of the parking meter could result in a substantial ﬁne or a towed vehicle!) How costly is human error in this particular context?
86. https://www.flickr.com/photos/crondeau/14314596362/ url/specialExhibitDouglasCoupland url/thisDonutThingHereThatDougWantsHelpIdentifying Douglas Coupland, “The Brick Wall”, 2005/2014 assemblage with pieces from the following toys and various untraceable construction sets. this technique isn’t limited to objects you interact with…
87. ii. Provide clear (and ideally) real-time feedback Strong feedback improves learnability, promotes trust and helps users feel in-control.
88. iii. Use consistent signposting Content in the physical environment should—where possible—match that used on the web interface.
89. Space #2304 Meter #2304 Meter #2304 Main St, 10 m from Fir St. $2.50FOR 1 HOUR PARK HERE ends at 13:47pm
90. SPOT is brilliantly simple way to improve usability and increase trust. “Tap a colored button and look for the Uber with the matching colored SPOT light. Passengers can even hold down on one of the buttons to turn their phone that colour and wave it in the air to help their driver ﬁnd them.”
91. iv. Provide just enough content Consider how much content you really need.
92. there’s nothing wrong with simply mirroring a beacon architecture to its physical https://www.flickr.com/photos/morebyless/14246207164 url/grandGallery url/artDesign url/artDesign url/artDesign url/naturalWorld url/naturalWorld url/naturalWorld and virtual equivalent
93. Does my interaction with this flower pot require much more than a disembodied record- set? [yes] [no] [maybe] https://www.flickr.com/photos/badlydrawn/15972048661 SODERHAMN Find it in store 105.523.23 Aisle: Location: 0227 Download instructions If however, the information’s role is to help complete a speciﬁc task— then the content should probably be more speciﬁc to that task.
94. Does my interaction with this flower pot require much more than a disembodied record-set? [yes] [no] [maybe] Source: Estimote Nearables
95. https://www.flickr.com/photos/crondeau/14314596362/ Douglas Coupland, “The Brick Wall”, 2005/2014 assemblage with pieces from the following toys and various untraceable construction sets. What is this object? Where is it from? Share your ideas at #dougsDonutThing Doug Coupland @douglascoupland 63% 37% @douglascoupland 511 votes A toilet float A toy url/thisDonutThingHereThatDougWantsHelpIdentifying bundles of just-in-time content and micro-interaction… as we exchange smaller and smaller
96. …it’s not clear we’ll even need to open an app* at all *native or otherwise—remember, notiﬁcations (with actions) now exist in the browser as well url/starbucksBranch_0123 https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/16285653016/ Receipt Available Tipping available until 12:09 $0.50 $1.50 $2.00 11:20 AM
97. v. Anticipate novel uses Anticipate URL re-use in novel contexts and, where needed provide clear guidance to avoid unexpected errors.
98. A few thoughts… • Remember the old debate about all the things “mobile users won’t want to do”? (Hint: that list is super tiny) • Once a user discovers a URL in the real world there’s no reason they can’t bookmark it for later use. • So…what (if anything) will users “NOT want to do” with that URL when they are no longer nearby?
99. https://www.flickr.com/photos/sfj/288526372 Yikes, as you can see, we’re *really* busy! There’s about a 20 minute wait, but our sister location Oishii still has three tables. JOIN WAITLIST SHOW ME OISHII BOOK ANOTHER DAY it’s not hard to imagine remote URL use for almost any physical web context What happens if someone joins remotely. Is the outcome positive or negative? And for whom is it so? [the user] [the restauraunt] [the other people in the queue]
100. Is the physical touchpoint merely an entry point to future (virtual) interaction?
101. When ofﬁcials in Melbourne assigned email addresses to trees (to enable people to report dangerous branches)… some people sent in letters and poems for the trees. https://www.flickr.com/photos/rbh/14431865903 APOLOGIES To: London Plane, Tree ID 1032398, St Kilda Rd My dog pee’d on you the other day. Sincerest apologies. A STRANGE QUESTION To: Western Red Cedar,Tree ID 1058295 Hi Tree, Are you worried about being affected by the Greek debt crisis? Should Greece be allowed to stay in the European Union? HELLO TREE To: Green Leaf Elm, Tree ID 1022165 Dear Green Leaf Elm, I hope you like living at St. Mary’s. Most of the time I like it too. I have exams coming up and I should be busy studying. You do not have exams because you are a tree. I don’t think that there is much more to talk
102. 3. Group exercise
103. 11:00-11:50 • Group brainstorming, discussion and design. 11:50-12:30 • Group presentations • Limited to ~5 minutes each so we can ﬁt as many as possible. Group exercise (11:00-12:30)
104. http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/tinou/453593446 thank you many thanks to the amazing photographers on http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5 @yiibu [email protected] contact us at Presentation deck available @ http://www.slideshare.net/yiibu