Android will now serve proximity based experiences

Google just introduced a feature on Android that prompts users to experience apps tied in to physical locations.

Google just introduced a feature that prompts users to experience apps tied in to physical locations. This is a smart move to make the millions of apps on the Play Store more accessible and relevant to consumers. This is an opt in service, and requires Bluetooth and location-based services to be active. From the developer side, beacons and the new Nearby API are used to identify when potential users are in the vicinity, and this delivers a notification to the device.

The demo applications showcased with the announcement include tours for museums and additional services for travellers. For example, if you're boarding a flight, then the application for in-flight entertainment for that airline will be prompted while you wait at the gate. There is an application for an audio tour of the Broad, a contemporary art museum in Los Angeles. It could be even simpler applications, such as the ability to print photos from the CVS Pharmacy app.

Android will now serve proximity based experiences

The backend for these prompts is a new API called Nearby. Mobile applications or web sites can be attached to a beacon. These beacons are scanned for in the background, allowing interactive experiences to be delivered to Chrome or a mobile device based on the location. The applications can tie up with third party proximity-based services, internet of things based services or security services. Existing applications use Sensero, Area360, Bluvision and Radius.

Nearby features have started rolling out for Android devices, as part of the Google Play Services release. The features will be supported all the way back to devices running Android KitKat 4.4.

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