Someone asked me recently what I think the next big thing will be in mobile. My answer was “probably NFC”. What’s NFC? From Wikipedia:
Near field communication (NFC) is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity, usually no more than a few centimetres. Present and anticipated applications include contactless transactions, data exchange, and simplified setup of more complex communications such asWi-Fi. Communication is also possible between an NFC device and an unpowered NFC chip, called a “tag”.
Many people are excited about the ability of NFC to facilitate mobile payments. As per the post and accompanying photo-set below though, I think there are a ton of other [potentially more] compelling use cases. Here’s some that are exciting to me:
- Simple pairing of bluetooth devices - no more passcodes, just scan the tag on a bluetooth device and you’ll be paired. Great for getting in/out of the car and pairing with the car or a headset.
- Access to cars/homes/offices – per the motorcycle example below, NFC can be used as a replacement/complement to a key. This could be great to give dynamic access to homes for hired help, guests, renters, etc. and similarly for cars, e.g. Zipcar.
- Wifi networks – Log-on to a wifi network in a cafe or office you’re visiting with a simple swipe.
- Marketing- finally realistically interactive billboards, signs, etc. Scan to download an app, get a coupon, a video, etc.
- Exchanging content with others – imagine Bump without having to open an app, etc.
- Better mobile boarding passes/check-in/boarding.
LG’s Optimus L5 is a confused smartphone Making a purchase is a prime example, of course, but NFC also can be used to secure your motorcycle, navigate your way through an unfamiliar subway system, and check in for Foursquare. There are a realm of possibilities, to be sure, and I took the opportunity to check them out while roaming the show floor.
- Three Ways NFC Technology Can Be Used In Healthcare (bostinno.com)
- NFC #101: All you need to know about NFC (thehindu.com)