Thursday, 1 March 2012

Is the town of Reading ready for the delights that NFC has to offer?

March 5th will see the launch of a 4 week mass NFC advertising trial in the town of Reading in the UK.

NFC is an abbreviation of Near Field Communication and is a form of contactless communication between an NFC tag and a device like a smartphone, tablet or point of sale payment system. An NFC tag is a wireless radio frequency electromagnetic field contactless system (based on the existing Radio-Frequency Identification or RFID tag) that transfers data between the tag and a wireless device.

JCDecaux the out-of-home advertising giant will bring NFC "touchpoint" tags to 325 bus stops and poster locations in and around the town, including the Oracle shopping centre.
Shoppers and public transport users will be able to interact with the posters through QR codes and NFC tags, enabling them to get exclusive access to content such as discount vouchers, preview video trailers of new DVD's or TV shows and can enter competitions. There are 12 brand participating in the trial, H&M, Vaseline, ITV2, EA Games, Lynx, Magnum, Lucozade Sport, Morrisons, Mercedes, Toni & Guy, Universal DVD and Universal Special Projects.David McEvoy marketing director of JCDecaux UK says  "Our research shows us that Reading is one of the most tech-savvy towns in the UK with a higher number of mobile phone and smartphone owners than the rest of the country. This puts Reading at the forefront of interactivity at bus shelters and so we really hope people will try it out and enjoy accessing the entertainment and special offers available through their smartphone". 

(Credit: Image from

Same as QR codes there are many uses for Near Field Communication technology and many believe that NFC will eventually kill off the QR code, personally i think the two can survive together. Smartphone makers are now shipping handsets that are already NFC enabled and for those with an older phone a SIM card that turns any phone into an NFC phone: Morpho and INSIDE Secure present "SIMply NFC-Revolution".

Recently at Mobile World Congress 2012 (MWC) in Barcelona, mobile phone makers Blackberry (RIM) showcased a Porsche 911 which had an NFC tag integrated into the vehicle. The users phone is then able to be paired automatically with the in-car system simply by touch. Watch the video below from RIM with their vision for cars of the future.

Other car manufacturers are looking into how they can use NFC technology, BMW's research and development team are looking into many ways they can integrate NFC with their cars.

Some Mc'Donalds fast food outlets are already using NFC for contactless payments, simply wave your credit card over the point of sale terminal to pay for your food.

There are some exciting things on the way for near field communication technology and i for one can't wait. Pop back here regularly for more posts on NFC developments and other news about new and emerging technologies. Get all new posts and updates to your inbox, follow my blog by entering your email address in the box at the top right hand corner.

Have you used NFC technology yet, what was it for and how was your experience? I'd love to hear from you, leave a comment below.