Chrome 53 Arriving With Web Bluetooth

Chrome 53 currently being rolled out now includes Web Bluetooth. What was previously an experimental feature enabled by the chrome://flags/#enable-web-bluetooth flag can now be enabled for Chrome OS, Android M, and Mac via what Google calls an Origin Trial.

Web Bluetooth allows the browser to see and interact directly with Bluetooth devices. The idea is that it will allow such devices to be configured and controlled from the web browser. Imagine consumer or IoT devices that no longer need a native configuration app nor configuration over WiFi. Instead, the app can be written in Javascript, served from anywhere and even be a local html file. There are some technical level examples on GitHub.

In terms of beacons, Web Bluetooth allows these to be potentially configured via the web browser rather than via native iOS and Android apps. The Physical Web team has a page where you can configure Standard Eddystone Beacons that follow their new Eddystone Configuration GATT Service. We have tried this under Android Chrome 52 with our Sensoro beacons in Standard Eddystone mode and the beacons weren’t even detected. Let’s hope when Chrome 53 reaches us, such problems have become resolved.

There’s more information on implementing Web Bluetooth and the implementation status of Web Bluetooth across the various platforms.