by James Kane, Director of Sandpiper Digital Payments
Smart phones are no longer just used to send and receive calls, text message, use apps, surf the net, play games, etc. The first computer was the size of a room, now the latest mobile phones are in essence super computers the size of our palms. Wireless communication technology in these devices has permeated every part of our lives.
One particularly important technology is NFC (Near Field Communication), which is already available in majority of phones in the market. In short, NFC allows small packets of data to be transmitted between smartphones and other NFC enabled devices. Despite its proliferation, many still haven’t fully utilized this amazing tool.
Here are some examples of how NFC could change our lives in the future:
A cashless society.
Throw your wallet and all your credit cards away – now with NFC, your smartphone is an all-in-one payment device. Instead of fumbling around with cash or watching how much you spend on your credit card, you simply wave your phone at an NFC enabled kiosk to pay for your items.
Imagine going to concert and never queuing up for drinks or tickets. Or think about roaming a theme park and never bringing your bulk wallets or purses. It is also possible to never overspend again on holiday.
NFC technology is already being utilised by businesses and services around the world, but with Google executives estimating that 50% of the mobile phone market will have NFC enabled devices by the end of 2014, the number of retailers using the system is expected to grow substantially over the next few years.
Keyless entry for everything.
Keys are frustrating – they get misplaced easily, they jingle about, and they stick out awkwardly in your pocket. To solve that problem, NFC technology is already being used to open doors at hotels, businesses, schools and more. In the next few years it may be able to open up almost everything.
NFC will soon replace all your keys and ID badges – everything is now just on your phone. It is not too far-fetched to imagine opening and starting your car with the wave of a phone, open doors at your workplace and even your home safely and securely.
NFC chips and tags are so small and lightweight that they could eventually be integrated into everything from sports posters to advertisement signs and more. These NFC chips and tags will contain all sorts of data available with the swipe of a smartphone.
Think about when you stand in line at a sports game, a NFC-enabled stadium will see all posters advertising the next game in an unique way. You can now swipe your phone and get sent to the club’s web page where you could find out all the information you need to know, including game schedule, player stats, and special interviews.
NFC-enabled campuses will see students using the technology to get updated schedules or coursework by swiping their phone on a notice board. It will also be able to give school administrators a real-time headcount of the students on campus at any given time.
As more and more smartphones start to feature NFC and more and more developers create innovative ways to use it, we’ll get the full benefits of this technology. You can expect to see this technology integrated into countless applications such as food packaging, flyers and other merchandise. With NFC, the sky is the limit.
James Kane, Director of Sandpiper Digital Payments, is a veteran in the ‘people’ space (Hotel/F&B, sales/marketing, lifestyle/events). He founded GoGORILLA in 2012, which quickly gained traction with its innovative RFID solutions for large-scale events, concerts, sports, and shows. In 2016, GoGORILLA was acquired by Sandpiper AG, Europe’s largest digital payment solutions provider.