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Most likely you’ve probably heard of the technology Near Field Communications (NFC).And every time I heard the term NFC, the associated mobile payments.
This is somewhat understandable, as the NFC and mobile payments were linked to each other by analysts, experts, researchers and retailers since the technology of wireless short range started to become popular in the early twentieth century. The first mobile phone built with embedded NFC, Nokia 6131, was launched in 2007.
The truth is that the NFC has much more to offer than just mobile payments. In fact, it’s quite possible it takes years until some kind of payment system based on NFC becomes popular, according to a new report from research firm Forrester Research.
According to Forrester, 100 million mobile devices containing NFC will be sold this year. But still the technology will only be used for 15% to 25% of the world population, in three to five years.
“We see NFC as merely a facilitator for various types of mobile contactless services. Do not believe that most consumers will use mobile contactless payments before the end of the decade, even in more developed countries like Poland and the UK,” writes Forrester analyst Thomas Husson in the report entitled “ NFC: What Lies Beyond Contactless Payments “.
So, exactly how the NFC will be used in these hundreds of thousands of smartphones in the near term? Here is a summary of the uses that Forrester predicted, along with examples of current and possible ways in which NFC is already being used by companies, governments, academic organizations, traders, retailers and consumers.
NFC within companies
The NFC is currently being tested by several organizations that want to use smartphones as access cards. In fact, in the fall of 2011, Research In Motion, maker of BlackBerry, and HID Global, a provider of card readers and secure physical access, announced that some of the new phones would be equipped with iCLASS, HID Global.
The Bold and Curve models of Blackberry NFC is compatible with HID Global iCLASS readers, widely used to enable physical access systems in buildings, but also serve as ID readers and students to stay abreast of the times of entry of officials and the presence thereof.
Employees could also use NFC to smartphones and other devices to access the parking areas or cafeterias and also pay for services, Forrester says. The NFC tags could be placed within the conference or meeting, and gifts could approach your compatible devices to access the Wi-Fi, for example.
NFC and government
The NFC also represents countless opportunities for governments improve public services and improve transit systems, among other things, Forrester says.
Some cities and urban areas are already using NFC technology to allow users to pay their bus key activates with their mobile devices. Citizens who drive to work could pay for parking with their cell phones. And city residents could gain access to public facilities such as libraries or public pools.
The association Francais du Sans Contact Mobile (AFSCM) is ahead of the adoption curve when it comes to NFC based services. And in Europe, France is among the top countries with the highest number of people with mobile phones containing NFC. The AFSCM expects 2.5 million French citizens have devices with NFC by the end of 2012. The French service “Cityzi” allows users in certain locations of France escaneiem their devices to quickly get into train stations and allows them to pass on their devices NFC tags placed in various locations to get maps or other information about products or services.
The city of San Francisco has about 30,000 parking meters compatible with NFC technology.And Sydney, Australia, is using NFC tags to help guide tourists through one of its most popular districts, the The Rocks .
NFC and experience of retail sales
The NFC also promises to expand and improve the retail experience, according to Forrester, by combining wireless coupons, loyalty cards and payment options.
“NFC tags placed on the shelves of products that enable customers to have access to more information about custom products to scan them with an application that integrates your personal profile, for example. If you are allergic to nuts, scanning the product could detect automatically if the product contains nuts and then alert you. Tighten for information, press to add to your shopping basket, push to get a coupon and other new usage scenarios will have an increasing impact on the retail industry. ”
NFC and Marketing
NFC technology has vast implications for modern marketers.
For example, users with compatible phones with NFC devices can quickly pass on their flyers, advertisements, posters or movie posters to collect information about products or servicesinstantly .
Businesses can place tags NFS entries in their shops so that users can check-in automatically wm social networks like Foursquare or Facebook, or share details or “tanned” with friends.
The amusement park Walibi, Belgium, recently launched a completely new system based on NFC Walibi called Connect that allows users scanned bracelets compatible with NFC technology to automatically send updates and “tanned” of events and attractions for your amusement Facebook pages. The system also rewards frequent users with badges and other achievements based on NFC check-ins.
The NFC device to device and sharing
The NFC can also be used even as a short-range technology to transmit files and other content between devices that are close to each other. The functionality can be great for collaboration in corporate environments, to share documents or in multiplayer games.
The popular Samsung Galaxy S III, and several other new NFC Android phones, using a tool called Android Beam to send and receive data between compatible devices via NFC.
More opportunities for NFC
Several universities around the world are also investigating the potential of NFC. Saint Francis University is using a system based on NFC called One Card access for students to the building, including dormitories and cafeteria meals and payment of costs with laundry, among other things.
For air travel, companies like Alaska Airlines are experimenting with NFC for boarding and security access.
For concerts, Samsung is working on a system that will allow patrons to enter the rooms using the NFC instead of traditional paper tickets.
In the automotive industry, BMW has created a key compatible with NFC opens not only a car, but also helps eventually the book and access hotel rooms when traveling.
NFC may be an emerging technology, but it is emerging at a rapid pace. During the next five years, it is expected that NFC transform the way we travel, we buy goods and communicate with each other.