Portland, OR, United States – Here in Oregon, I’m seeing businesses large and small begging for patrons to ‘Like’ them on Facebook, Follow them on Twitter, or check-in via Foursquare. These are fun activities, but they can be time-consuming. Take Foursquare for example – to check-in you have to load the app, search for the business (which is complicated by weird business name spelling and multiple instances of the same business) and finally check in. A technology is in a position to help.
Near-Field Communication, or NFC for short, is a technology that – after some time is finally set to take off. The short range radio communication technology allows NFC enabled devices to communicate to one another. Also, with an NFC-enabled tag or poster, the action of merely holding up your phone can trigger the ability to direct people to a website, Twitter, Facebook or any other website for that matter. Also, professionals can use NFC-enabled business cards to add to their computer’s phone book and more.
The possibilities of NFC for marketing or other activities is pretty amazing. And with phones such as the Nokia C7 (also known as the Nokia Astound here in the United States) and the N9, and more undoubtedly on their way, the technology will become more widespread as the year advances.
An innovative program will is helping business hop on board as well. NFCHub is an effort to inexpensively bring merchants to the NFC party by providing posters, business cards or even stickers to drive customers to engage in a new and exciting way. By prompting customers to tap on an object that has an NFC tag embedded inside, the tag will then transmit a small amount of data to the phone and prompt a Facebook ‘Like’, a Foursquare check-in or some other action. To see it in action, check out the short video below:
Business can buy the materials and place them around their shops, offices or in publicity materials. One of my favorite usages would be the business card one, whereby you can create a campaign that would allow me to scan my Nokia Astound and retrieve contact info for that company or an individual. Think of this at a conference or business gathering – rather than swapping cards or typing someone’s information into your phone, you can simply scan an NFC tag and easily store the necessary bits of information into your phone with no fuss.
Do you see yourself using NFC? How might it benefit your business?