A priest and a rabbi walk up to a vending machine. The priest said to the machine ... Wait! Is this the kind of conversation we want to have with things? Whatever it is we want to say to them, Google is working on breaking the conversational ice (see the full report here):
"Google’s Scott Jenson, an interaction and UX designer who left the company only to return to the Chrome team last November, has revealed a project underway at the company called The Physical Web to provide “interaction on demand” so that people can walk up and use any smart devices without the need for intervening mobile apps. This would make it possible for users to simply walk up to a bus stop and receive the time until the next arriving bus, without any additional software needed....
“'People should be able to walk up to any smart device – a vending machine, a poster, a toy, a bus stop, a rental car – and not have to download an app first,' Jenson explains on the Physical Web project page. 'Everything should be just a tap away.'
"The aim of the project isn’t just to create something that can be leveraged by Google devices and software, however; it wants to create a standard that can be used by everyone and that is open, like those used for the basic building blocks of the web. A shared standard would definitely help expand the usefulness of connected devices, but Apple has already taken steps towards its own proprietary version of this kind of tech with iBeacon and with its new contextually relevant app suggestions in iOS 8."