When Google asks you about the gum you just buy

I’m going to tell you a true story that happened to one of my colleagues, Stefan Mollenhoff. One afternoon, in the city, he bought a pack of gum in a dispenser of candy. A few seconds later, he received a message on my smartphone asking him my experience. How is – can you tell me? Well simply because Google Nearby.

what is Google Nearby? How it works?

Google Nearby was a novelty presented by the Mountain View company during the last Google I/O. concretely, Nearby allows to communicate with the objects that surround us. Thus, by simply walking next to a machine, it is possible to trigger the feature. It’s sort of an improved version of the QR codes, without having to leave your smartphone from the Pocket.

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Google Nearby lies in your smartphone settings (settings > Google > Nearby). © AndroidPIT

companies can try to communicate with their customers via their smartphones. This is particularly the case of the Beaconsinside company that began installing compatible with Nearby tags in vending machines found in weather stations. The operation is simple, these devices send a URL that will appear on your smartphone as a Nearby notification.

All of this is thanks to the so-called ‘Physical Web’ that allows “to talk to objects”. This feature is part of what is called the Internet of things . If you follow us on a regular basis, you have probably already heard of this term.

What would you like in our distributor?

That was the question posed to Stefan after buying a pack of gum. Since it was the first time he received a Nearby notification, the message was accompanied by explanatory phrases on the operation of Nearby and a link to answer the question.

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captures are in German. In the first, we see the notification “Feedback zum Snackautomaten” (feedback on the machine); in the second shot, the question about the product he would like to see; and the last capture is devoted to a nutritional information. © ANDROIDPIT

Stefan decided to contact the company Beaconsinside to learn more about the issue. The company explained that with this method, the company receives an average of 400 to 500 reviews by day on what users would like to find in the vending machines. And as a result, they added two products, which are also the most popular now. We are facing a new form of marketing and relationship with consumers.

Other uses may also be considered such as a bus stop that notifies you when the next bus or a restaurant that displays its menu on your smartphone when you enter. 

Am I concerned?

Yes, it is very likely that your phone has this feature if you are using a smartphone Android under Lollipop or a higher version. To check, you have to go in the settings of your phone then Google > Nearby .

A disturbing experience

I must admit that Stefan experience left me puzzled. On the one hand, I feel to be watched at all times. On the other hand, I can improve the quality of services that surround me. Anyway, it is impossible to go against this trend and is best to adapt and to learn the most. After studying the issue better, I see the usefulness of this feature even if it goes through the fact that my not be recorded.

Have you already received a notification Google Nearby?

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