Google announces Nearby Connections 2.0 complete with offline communication

The second iteration of Nearby Connections -- called, funnily enough, Nearby Connections 2.0 -- is upon us. Google has released the API to Android developers, giving them access to greater bandwidth, reduced latency, and -- most excitingly -- offline functionality.

Working over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, Nearby Connections 2.0 makes it possible for devices to communicate with each other without the need for an internet connection. The API is supported by Android devices running Google Play services 11.0 and above, and it is essentially a peer-to-peer system that works much like a next-generation version of NFC.

So what's the potential for Nearby Connections 2.0? Introducing the technology, Google suggests that it could be used to automatically adjust the temperature of your hotel room when you walk in, or the address books of two devices could merge whenever they are near each other. Two different forms of nearby network topology (a mesh networking system, or a network with one device in charge) allows for a range of possible uses.

Google explains:

At the heart of this API is a connection (with Unix-socket-like semantics) that you can use to transfer bytes, files, or streams of data. There are two supported connection topologies:

It is obviously very early days for Nearby Connections 2.0, but Google reveals a number of ideas that have been developed:

More information is available on the Connections API page of Google's developer site.