|Google+ takes over the NFC market|
Monday, 11 July 2011 15:02
What is NFC? For those of you who haven't yet stumbled upon that abbreviation NFC or Near Field Communication is the successor of the small little barcodes squares – QR codes. These are the codes, which you started seeing on advertisings in internet, on posters on the streets or t-shirts of the so-called geek professionals.
The main usage of the QR codes was the ability to store bigger amount of information than its information storage predecessors. Or as our friends from Wikipedia explain “a QR code (abbreviated from Quick Response code) is a specific matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code) that is readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera telephones”.
As you can guess it was mainly used to stimulate the direct interaction between mobile phone users and a concrete brand. This interaction could have been connected with the various goals of the company, promoting its product or service with the “ mysterious “ content box. Essentially the QR code became a premium tool for the marketing and sales world and respectively a cheap-solution for a creative campaign. Like when you get a Poke on Facebook, saying, if you click here you will never believe who poked you ;-) ... of course just out of natural human curiosity you will click to see (if Facebook's messages were trustworthy enough) who that was.
The typical set-up of usage was the creation of a Mystification around a product or service on one hand or feeling of Exclusive Reach to again a concrete product or a service. It is like reaping off the gift paper from a Christmas present – you expect the unexpected or almost the unexpected and you like it.
As you can imagine this barcode medium is a cheap technological solution in terms of development, usage and distribution. However it will very soon become insufficient since the different parties on the market will understand the great opportunities which the “smart” mobile interaction and communication between offline and online objects and currencies offers as possibilities. It was a nice start, but soon it will be a typical part of all marketing related campaigns and not get the same amount of provocative attention.
! Main usage areas: marketing, communications, (indirect) sales
The answer or what comes next?
The next generation mobile-bound up medium is the NFC-enabled chip or sticker.
Without the need of giving extra info, again I quote the Wiki's explanation:
Near field communication, or NFC, allow for simplified transactions, data exchange, and connections with a touch. The Near Field Communication Forum promotes sharing, pairing, and transactions between NFC devices and develops and certifies device compliance with NFC standards. A smartphone or tablet with an NFC chip could make a credit card payment or serve as keycard or ID card. NFC devices can read NFC tags on a museum or retail display to get more information or an audio or video presentation. NFC can share a contact, photo, song, application, or video or pair Bluetooth devices.
And what's the difference? Obviously the final goal or aim of usage.
While QR was used just as a transmitter of the message which marketeers, salesmen and communication specialists wanted to send out and provoke more interest, basically more sales, here things happen on the spot!
NFC is not just a medium for communication. It is the next step towards the ubiquitous network or Smart Cities. It doesn't just provoke, it already gives you the Buy or Open now button option. It gives the possibility for different networks to interact in REAL TIME, to exchange all types of information and hence allows the easy, flexible and safe money transmission.
QR was the ENABLER.
NFC is the DOER.
In a world where you can go on a bus and have an m-ticket (NFC!), get your latest promotions on your customer loyalty program (NFC!) from your supermarket where you buy your products with your phone (NFC!). That is the world where you pay to enter a cinema with your phone (NFC!) and don't need to wait on a long line to get some change because you can pay with exact amount via your bank account on the pop-corn machine (NFC!). It is also the world where you are sure that you don't need to wait tired to check-in in your hotel or for you flight, because you have done it through your NFC-enabled phone. And that's the world where while reading that, you just tab you phone to mine and get my visit card (NFC!).
! Main usage areas: (direct) sales, accessibility, security, marketing, communications
What means that?
Your mobile phone is already a crucial part of your world, even if you admit that or not. You can make at least all easier, comfortable and safer to use with the tool which you perceive as important as your waller or even more and put more personal value than on your diary from the first years at school. NFC is the next step after QR.
Do you notice what I say?
It is about personal relationship. And when it comes to relationships on one hand and technological interoperability on the other, the first thing in your mind would be: Social Networks.
We know where all is: Twitter, LinkedIn, XING, Facebook, etc.
And while most of the mass-audience (consumer-driven) companies and organisations believe that Facebook is the environment to push up their products or services, after the launch of Google+ things changed. And will change more.
By its unique concept Google+ gives the opportunity to have the full control over the Circles of our relationships or in other words – the groups of people with who we have different level and frequency of interaction.
Imagine now that possibilities of NFC and connect it with the Circles. Simply put it is a real time control over the connections with your family, friends, customers, business partners, colleagues, neighbors, people with the same interest, teachers, old-classmates and etc. Now imagine if you can share information with them while processing a purchase – a positive feedback, recommendation, a possibility to get a discount only for your circle of friends. Or to add someones' visit card to your newly created circle of professional contacts from a particular conference just by swapping of your mobile devices? It would be also possible to pay all of the drinks to the Google+ Family circle while being on a restaurant for example. Imagine a full linking-up between You, the different types of people around or even not around you, the products and services who you like/dislike and the companies owners/managers themselves.
And that's just part of it.
Google+ will be the next generation of NFC social network, allowing you to fully combine your online and offline environments and creating a real-time interaction and equilibrium.
What's the next step?
These are of course the next generation smart Location-Based Services using Google Places (Places on Google Maps), connecting You with the Companies, of which you are customer or fan, and your Circles of Trust...