When Google popped out Chrome 56 at the end of January it was
keen to remind us it's making the web safer by flagging non-HTTPS
sites. But Google made little effort to publicise another feature
that's decidedly less friendly to privacy, because it lets
websites ask about users' Bluetooth devices and harvest
information from them through the browser. That's more a pitch to
developers, as is clear in this YouTube video from Pete LePage of
the Chrome Developers team.
"Until now, the ability to communicate with Bluetooth devices has
been possible only for native apps. With Chrome 56, your Web app
can communicate with nearby Bluetooth devices in a private and
secure manner, using the Web Bluetooth API," Google shares in the
video. "The Web Bluetooth API uses the GATT [Generic Attribute
Profile - ed] protocol, which enables your app to connect to
devices such as light bulbs, toys, heart-rate monitors, LED
In other words, the API lets websites ask your browser "what Bluetooth devices can you see," find out what your fridge, and so on, is capable of, and interact with it.