I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with the Chrome team’s implementation of the Web Bluetooth API. Today we published my latest sample app to control Anki’s Overdrive racing cars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vg2e1jOug00
Anki has done a great job using a mobile app to use BLE to control the self-driving racing cars. Now you can do the same from a web page without installing any apps.
For my first sample app I made grumpy cat fly using the PowerUp plane: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRMcMDIyIGQ
It was a bit tricky to get the ballast just right for the balloons but coding the app was simple using the PowerUp online docs.
Then I wrote a web app to print some text and a graphic on a BLE thermal printer: https://github.com/WebBluetoothCG/demos/tree/gh-pages/bluetooth-printer
I contacted the printer OEM to get access to their SDK. Printing text was easy to get it working, but the graphics required more complicated bit-level pattern logic.
Probably my favorite web app was to awaken the force in Sphero’s BB-8 toy:
Sphero has an SDK and the BB-8 toy works mostly like their earlier Ollie toy, so there are lots of sample code online from other developers that I learned from.
I’m very excited to see how all of this will come together with Google’s IoT strategy. You could use the Physical Web to discover the web pages for physical devices and then use either the Web Bluetooth API for devices that are not online or the Weave API for Brillo devices that are online. It is going to be a very interesting year for hacking devices!
Chrome is rolling out support for the Web Bluetooth API for desktop, mobile and ChromeOS. You can follow the Web Bluetooth implementation status:
Take a look at all the great sample apps we now have for the Web Bluetooth API: https://github.com/WebBluetoothCG/demos
Follow these instructions to write your own Web Bluetooth app: https://developers.google.com/web/updates/2015/07/interact-with-ble-devices-on-the-web