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Explore the Physical Web with Chrome

This article applies to Chrome for Mobile

Discover relevant webpages based on your surroundings using the Physical Web with Chrome. For example, if you’re near a movie poster that is part of the Physical Web, Chrome can show you a webpage with a trailer and nearby showtimes.

How the Physical Web works

Objects around you that are part of the Physical Web send Bluetooth signals to your phone. With Chrome, your device can pick up these signals and show you a list of webpages that might interest you.

You can see which objects around you in the real world are part of the Physical Web. They'll have this icon
Physical Web.

Check if your device works with the Physical Web

To use the Physical Web, you’ll need the following:

  • An Android phone running Android 4.3.2 or higher and Bluetooth
  • Bluetooth turned on
  • Location turned on
  • Chrome location runtime permission turned on (Android 6.0 and above)

See which Android version you're running:

  1. Go to your home screen. 
  2. Tap Settings > About phone.
  3. Find your Android version number next to Android version.

Turn Bluetooth on:

  1. Go to your home screen.
  2. Tap Settings > Bluetooth.
  3. Tap the slider to turn Bluetooth on. 

Turn Location on:

  1. Go to your home screen.
  2. Tap Settings > Location.
  3. Tap the slider to turn Location on. 

Grant Chrome location permission (6.0 and above):

  1. Go to your home screen.
  2. Tap Settings > Apps > Chrome > Permission.
  3. Tap the slider next to Location to turn it on.

Access the Physical Web

When you’re near an object that’s part of the Physical Web, you’ll receive a notification with the Physical Web icon Physical Web. Tap on the notification to see a list of suggested webpages.

Explore the Physical Web

Find Physical Web objects

To find Physical Web objects, look around you for the Physical Web icon Physical Web.

Right now, the Physical Web is in its earliest stages and only picks up objects that are in the program. As the Physical Web grows, it will pick up more objects around you and offer you more webpage suggestions.

Bluetooth signals can be received up to 30 feet away or more depending on signal strength and your environment. Since the Physical Web scans for Bluetooth signals only when you open the Today view, it uses very little of your phone's battery.

See relevant webpages

If there’s more than one Physical Web object around you, Chrome shows you the most relevant webpages from the closest objects at the top. A Google service is used to improve these results.

What info the Physical Web uses

When Physical Web objects send webpage addresses to your phone, Chrome sends these addresses to a Google server. The server then finds the title of the webpage and helps determine if it’s one that you might want to see. No personal information is sent from your phone to the Google server.

Learn more about how Google handles info from the Physical Web.

Join the Physical Web

If you have your own website and want to help users discover it more easily with the Physical Web or if you're just interested in being a part of the open source community, check out the Physical Web.

Megan is a Google Chrome expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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