Thursday, August 11, 2011
Get a little closer with Near Field Communication
Similar to Blue-Tooth, Near Field Communication, or NFC, is a technology for cell phones and handheld devices to communicate over the air to something else with an NFC chip. Most NFC enabled things allow you to touch them to initiate the communication.
Let's say that you're on your way to buy a block of the best cheese on earth. On your way to the store you see a poster of the newest movie in your favorite comic series. You put your device close to the NFC markings on the poster and within seconds you've got an exclusive trailer to the upcoming flick.
You've made it to the shop and decided that you would like to save some money for a ticket to the movie that you just watched the trailer for. You see a discount code on a promotional card for the cheese you've been craving for hours. You give the card an imaginary fist-bump with your cell to shave a little off of your upcoming purchase.
You see a long lost acquaintance in line ahead of you at the cheese counter. He tells you of his new website that explains new technologies. You're intrigued and want to get his card with all of the info on it. He crosses his tablet with your cellphone's NFC field to give you his website address and contact information. You peruse his site with admiration until it's your turn at the counter.
The proprietor tells you that he has in the stockroom a new designer cheese that he believes you would love. You ask to see the cheese and he shows you three spots on the counter with the NFC icons next to drool-inducing images of his new savory offerings. As you hover your device over each one, audible descriptions of the flavor, texture, and smell of the cheeses are relayed to you. You choose the third option with the push of a button and the nod of your head.
It comes time to pay, but you've just realized that you left your wallet at home. Instead of freaking out and leaving cheese-less, you thank the powers that be that your favorite cheese shop is now equipped with NFC point-of-sale machines. You just put in your secret pin number to your device and casually brush the air over the NFC logo on the register with your phone. A receipt prints out and the cheese shop owner hands you your block of cheese.
You have arrived home and now it's time to cut the cheese. Unfortunately, you can't do this with your device, but sometimes doing things without technology just feels right.