With Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s introduction to the Samsung Nexus S and its Near Field Communications capabilities, NFC is rapidly becoming a hot topic for any mobile technology enthusiast. But apart from the possibility of a smooth, creditcard free payment procedure, what else does NFC technology have to offer, when it is becomes an integrated part of a handset and its operating system?
Apart from payment via mobile phone, NFC can generally be used to easily establish data connections between devices. For example, establishing a WiFi connection between two phones will no longer require a lot of manual configuration, because it will be done automatically through NFC. As such, it is safer and faster than Bluetooth, and sharing pictures, music, files, movies, etc. between phones will become fast and easy.
Another application that can be conceived, is the ‘picking up’ of digital information by shortly holding the phone next to the information source – tapping it, if you will – and almost instantly any piece of information is transferred to the phone. Think, for example, of tapping your phone lightly against a poster with an embedded NFC chip to instantly receive a URL, or concert dates and information, all without manually having to start your browser, entering the URL you read on that poster, etc.
And last but not least, the variety of possible payment procedures is endless. Tapping your phone on the shop’s counter is the obvious one, but doing the same when entering a parking facility to receive your digital ticket is another, just as walking into a movietheater without buying a ticket, only passing your phone over the payment surface.
Of course, for all these applications to emerge, proper integration of the technology into, for example, Android Gingerbread is a pre-requisite, just like the widespread integration into existing shops, theatres, parking facilities, etc.