NFC, or Near Field Communication, is a recent technology that some mobile manufacturers like Samsung are promoting. It is a data transfer technology that is slower than Bluetooth. It is also rather short ranged, allowing only a few centimeters for it to even work. What are you going to use it for? Not much at the moment. That is all about to change through, as Samsung introduced “Tec Tiles” to provide the demand for Near Field Communication.
Why are people pushing for this technology anyway? Near Field Communication is actually really handy for several functions. NFC data transfers or interactions require very little power. It works only at close range, so transfers are more secure and less likely to be intercepted. It can also generate a short range energy field that can power NFC tags. These tags would not require power to provide the information stored within, allowing tags to be placed in small and simple daily items, such as posters, laces, ID’s and cards.
Near Field Communication technology is more notably used in the credit industry. NFC enabled phones can use a wallet application, such as Google Wallet, to pay for services or products by simply putting the phone in close proximity to an NFC capable terminal. The transfers are said to be secure, and is initiated by the user and is harder to intercept. Less notable use of NFC is in advertisements. There are several “smart posters” that are in the wild that your NFC enabled phones can interact with to get certain information. These are perfect examples of NFC tags that are paper thin and do not require to be powered on its own. This works much like a barcode, or a QR code, but works much faster and can provide data without the need for a database, or the need for your device to search for the meaning of the code in the internet.
At the moment, Near Field Communication technology is not as popular as many would hope. There are very few establishments that offer the NFC terminals or advertisements. There are some who have used the NFC to provide menus, but since NFC is not in every phone, and not many people really use it anyway, it isn’t used as much as they would like. That may just change soon, due to the Tec Tiles that Samsung introduced recently.
So what makes these Tec Tiles special? Tec Tiles are programmable NFC tags. There is an application in the Play Store that will allow you to access and program these tiles to perform various functions when an NFC capable device interacts with it. Samsung has outlined several interesting uses for your own programmable NFC Tag. This can allow more establishments to be able to use their own NFC tags to provide advertisement, by prompting your phone to visit a website, or show a notification of a sale, share a coupon, or provide contact information whenever you place your NFC device in proximity of these Tec tiles.
Not only businesses, but also the consumers can create some NFC tags with their Tec Tiles to automate some tasks. Every time you come across your NFC tag, it will prompt your NFC capable phone to perform certain tasks. It can allow your phone to stop accepting calls when you go to bed, open an application like Maps when you strap it on to your car mount, or display a few reminders in the form of a text message or notification.
As I came across this announcement, a lot ideas sprung into my mind of what I can use it for, provided that NFC technology begins to proliferate further to many more devices, and if more people are actually using these NFC enabled devices. Some can be actually useful, and some can come across as pranks. One thing I could think of was that I could place one at my doorstep to remind me of those things that I usually forget to do or bring along before I leave the house.
What can you think of doing if you had one of these Tec Tiles?