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NFC not just for mobile payments: Six future uses

Al Sacco | Aug. 15, 2012
By now, you're probably somewhat familiar with Near Field Communications (NFC) technology. And when you hear the term NFC, the first thing that comes to mind is probably mobile payments.

On the food service side, bars and restaurants can order NFC enabled drink coasters and other promotional materials from a company called RadipNFC so patrons can scan them and get more information on the business or advertisers.

NFC and Device-to-Device Sharing, Collaboration

NFC can also be used as a short-range technology to beam files and other content between devices that are close to each other. The functionality could be great for collaboration in corporate environments when sharing documents or for multiplayer gaming.

The popular NFC-enabled Samsung Galaxy S III, and a number of additional new NFC Android phones use a feature called Android Beam to send data back and forth between compatible devices via NFC.

Zynga, a virtual poker game for Android, uses NFC-based Android Beam to let users tap their smartphones or tablets together to play live multiplayer online poker.

More Opportunities for NFC

Various universities across the globe are also investigating the potential of NFC. The University of San Francisco is currently using an NFC-based system called One Card for student building access, including dorms and eating facilities, meal payments and laundry costs, among other things.

For air travel, airlines including Alaska Airlines is experimenting with NFC for boarding passes and security access.

For concerts, Samsung is working on a system that will let concert goers access shows and events using NFC instead of traditional paper tickets.

In the auto industry, BMW has built an NFC-enabled car key that can not only unlock an automobile, but also eventually help you book and access hotels room while you're traveling.

NFC may be an emerging technology, but it is emerging at a rapid pace. Over the next five years, expect NFC to transform the way we travel, purchase goods and communicate with each other.


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