NFC may not be a public buzzword as of yet, but major brands including Nokia, Barclay and McDonald’s have all jumped on the near field communication bandwagon, or what I like to call, the contactless technology express.
The list of things that you can do with radio frequency identifiers and near field communication is endless; boarding passes, mobile wallets, loyalty cards and public transport to name a few, explaining why companies like Oulu Smart Touch Project seem to be having endless fun, coming up with route tracking and weather prediction technology through NFC checkpoint.
Timo Arnall’s ‘Address Book Desk’ in 2005 blended RFID tags, post-it notes and phone technology to create a streamlined approach to calling friends. Although some may say that this was actually a bit pointless, including myself, this technology can be practical, even dare I say it, radical.
Newcastle University’s research facility created the ‘Ambient Kitchen’ where RFID tags were installed in product packaging, placing sensors on cupboards, kettles, sugar bowls, almost everywhere and anywhere, so that they could analyse what users were doing and project information into the room when necessary, including recipe advice and medication reminder. This was proven to be a massive success, although if one listened very careful, then you could actually hear the eco-system moaning under the weight of silicone, plastic and copper, to name a few.
NFC and RFID seems an ideal partner in customer service. I mean, check out ‘Health Buddy’ in 2008, an electronic personal trainer that monitored physical performance based upon calories burnt, time and effort or even Adidas recent in-store virtual shoe wall for further inspiration.
One thing is for sure, or at least to me, is that the rise of NFC and RFID will in evidently lead to the demise of USBs, credit cards, keys, cash, power sockets and most importantly, wires. Just imagine a world without wires; I shall leave it there for now.