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December 22, 2011

2012 – The Year of NFC?

NFC. Near-Field Communication. Tippy-tappy connection-thingy. Whatever you want to call it, there is seemingly no stopping the rise of this exciting technology. And with 20 per cent (about 300 million) of all smartphones expected to be NFC-enabled by 2014, next year is sure to see more and more people getting hands on with it.

If you’re still unsure of what NFC is, here’s a quick explanation of the technology:

NFC enables two devices to interact via electromagnetic radio fields, transferring small amounts of data wirelessly over short distances or by physical touch.

But what does it really mean?

Well, you’ll be able to pair your phone with other phones and accessories in a simple tap. Whether it’s listening to your music loud on the Nokia Play 360 speakers, or using the Nokia Luna headset to keep your hands free for other things, you’ll be able to hook up quickly and easily. No messy menus, no confusing connections, just tap and go.

You’ll also be able to share more easily, sending pictures, videos and contact info from phone to phone. Or you can grab the latest info on movie times, music and anything else in the tap of a poster.

And NFC is set to change the way you shop and travel too, turning your phone into a credit, debit and transport card. Tap your phone against a payment terminal and the goods are yours. If you use buses and trains you’ll just tap the transport terminal or barrier to be on your way.

Whatever you do, you’ll be able to kiss goodbye to a wallet full of plastic in the future.

Experience. Experience. Experience.

On our travels, we’ve seen a few nice executions using NFC to raise awareness with the public and get people tapping their phones.

For both Social Media Week and Nokia World, Nokia installed a “Gift Machine” that invited attendees to tap and check in via Foursquare. Their reward was a free gift-tube, filled with candy, Nokia accessories and even smartphones for the lucky folk.

And Helsinki has been getting into the holiday spirit this December, with an NFC window display at the Nokia flagship store giving customers the chance to access exclusive discounts,
as well as win accessories and a white Nokia N9.