NFC (Near Field Communication) will be the next big thing in mobile. So here’s our take on what looks to be a promising technology…
First the tech bit: NFC is a short-range, wireless technology similar in application to QR codes, but without the camera or visible code. It works by broadcasting a radio field that can power a passive tag using magnetic induction. A tag is a miniature antenna that contains a small amount of digital information (a URL, for instance). The device emitting the field is then able to read this information wirelessly.
And now the fun part: Contactless data transfer can have many uses, especially when the tags can be stickers or cards. NFC mobile-enabled devices (Samsung Nexus S being one) can read NFC tags and direct the user to the appropriate URL simply by waving the device near the tag. The big idea which will see NFC take off is undoubtedly mobile payments via NFC. Google are rumoured to have a contactless payment system in the works, and with the Android market heating up, we can expect it to be fairly widespread.
In short, it’s not here yet but it will be soon.