Mobile phones are at the mature phase of the product lifecycle causing manufacturers to search for new ways to squeeze out profits. However, they keep reinventing the game of what a mobile phone can do, increasing the price point. One method is to add new functionality (which requires investment further squeezing profits). Another method is to provide add-on features, to allow standardization, coordination, and partnering with other players in the mobile phone eco-system. The add-on feature may be in the form of technology for the manufacture or new services for the consumer.
Near Field Communication is a technology that enables new services for the consumer via their smartphone. NFC is a combination of three services: RFID tag technology, contactless payment cards, and inductive-coupling. It surpasses Bluetooth because it does not require pairing. Due to the limited range it is ideal for secure transactions like contactless payment card, and has a much broader range of applications than QR codes.
The science is like other RFID technology. The near field process creates a magnetic field “loosely coupled inductive circuits” to share power and data over a distance of about 1.5 inches.
NFC can operate in three modes:
Public Transportation: this technology is well-suited for public transport where the ability to quickly read ticket information has made it a staple in countries like Singapore, Japan, and the UK.
Smart Objects: NFC can have similar applications as bar codes do now. One can go on a poster and let pedestrians scan it on their phones for more information. However, being able to add more information to any object by integrating a tag has led to some interesting applications that go far beyond billboards.
Payment Card: Google has been using this technology in Google Wallet, and Apple uses it for their devices with ApplePay and Passport.
The world’s leading financial card companies, mobile phone operators, manufacturers, consumer goods companies, and others are investing strongly. Apple and Android phones alike have NFC these days, but with the uses increasing rapidly, like Apple AirDrop. NFC-enabled mobile phones allow consumer payment methods such as credit, prepaid and stored-value. This has been successful in Japan where over 90% of transactions occur with NFC mobile phones.
Location based marketing trends relies upon digital placed media Digital place-based (DPb). An NFC enabled smart poster will register consumers as the pass by it. The marketer will know exactly where & when a potential consumer is within proximity of the digital media. So, the marketer knows its branded messaging was delivered and even has the potential for advancing a relationship if the consumer interacts with the media.
Tagging in particular fits into the trend towards building the IoT world where inanimate objects are connected to the internet. We now see IoT being used for appliances, thermostats, and other features. Cars in particular are gaining momentum in utilizing sensors and IoT to become safer and more convenient. Now, marketers can provide a better shopping experience for consumers. This happens not only by providing more information with real time research, but also with products that will help consumers save money or make their life easier.
At Charter Global, we have experts in IoT and mobile app development. We’d love to work with you on an upcoming project or collaborate together to make something new and unforgettable.