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Chrome on Android communicates with smart devices around you

The update will start in the beta channel before rolling out to more users.

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Folks running Chrome on iOS have had a chance to tap into the Physical Web devices around them since last July, but Google's finally opened that functionality up to its own ecosystem. To that end, Chrome 49 on Android will support the objects (like parking meters, for instance). The first time you encounter one there will be a push notification alerting you one is nearby, and future run-ins will populate a list of the gadgets nearby. It's starting in the beta channel, a post on the Chromium Blog notes, with wider support rolling out soon. In case you're curious of how it all looks in action, the GIF below should give you a good idea.

Mountain View says that some 1,500 of these beacons were in place during CES this year as well, helping folks around the various exhibits on the floor. Fingers crossed that next year they'll identify the closest hand sanitizer station too.

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