What’s The Big Deal about NFC?

What is NFC? National Fighting Championship? National Flag Committee? Natural Forestry Commision? KFC? or Nobody F******g Cares?

See answer below

NFC – Near Field Communication: is a type of communication that involves wirelessly transmitting data from one hardware device to another physical object, provided that the devices are in short range (within 10 centimetres) of one another.

If you struggled to make sense of the above definition, here’s a clear and easily explained NFC video:

 

Apple has just announced the technology on its new iPhone 6 models, which some would argue means that its hit the mainstream market (even though its been in  many Android devices for many years (not a discussion thats worth having right now)). So now that Apple’s involved everyone’s talking about it and taking it seriously, so obviously Apple see’s great potential in the technology, but is it just going to end up like the disastrous QR Code? or be a genuine revelation in modern mainstream technology?

Perhaps this graph explains why Apple is interested, presenting the frightening amount of credit card details Apple possesses and can take advantage from:

Screenshot-2014-09-01-06.31.00

Let’s look at some pro’s and con’s of the technology from a digital marketing standpoint:

Pro’s:

  • Rather than opening an app, the NFC device can simply be tapped on to a NFC tag/sticker/chip
  • user experience is far easier / exciting than QR
  • can be done without looking
  • capabilities can range from opening apps to enabling certain settings on a device
  • stickers are accessible and cheap

Con’s:

  • all NFC tap ons must be confirmed which restricts user flow and seamlessness
  • very small ‘tap on’ range
  • very small amount of data can be set on chips / stickers
  • third party apps must be downloaded to enable certain NFC features

Apple clearly see’s NFC technology as profitable, however it seems the only way they want to use this technology is for e-wallet uses. The technology itself has a massive potential to turn a device into an easy to use and seamless universal remote or a second screen to everything around you in context, but the con’s listed above must be addressed to ensure that it’s effective in engaging the average consumer.

The Ideal World of NFC:


What are your thoughts? is NFC  living up to its true potential? or is e-wallet payments all the technology is good for, as highlighted by Apple?

SP

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