If you have been keeping up with the development of the Android OS you are probably aware that it now supports NFC (near field communication) which can be incorporated in a sticker or a NFC reader in order to get information or register a user action.Think of it like those smart credit cards that allow you to tap your card rather than swipe it through a card reader.
When we think about NFC and Social Networking, there is huge potential with location based check-ins, and push to your phone based on that check-in information. Japanese social network site Mixi was the first to offer this sort of NFC functionality with users able to simply wave their phone in order to check-in to a location. Social Check-in giant Foursquare has been experimenting with this sort of NFC check-in approach at things like the Google I/O developer conference in California. Google and FourSquare placed NFC check-in points all over the conference center and let users check-in by tapping their phone against an NFC point to collect the Google I/O FourSquare badge.
In addition to simple check-in functionality, NFC can be used for payment: as well as point of sale couponing. A great example is “Enable Table”‘s NFC restaurant couponing application. This particular kind of application shows huge potential for marketers, not only from a “push offer” perspective, but from a research perspective as well. With NFC there is a ton of demographic data that could be collected on location from user response, click through, etc.
NFC is making in roads with more and more smartphones as the technology develops, and with companies like Foursquare embracing the technology, it shows signs of extensive growth in the future.
NFC will also increase mobile web usage since it has the potential to make getting online even easier with your smartphone. At the beginning mobile web users had to type a web address into a browser, then we had options like QR codes, or Google Goggles which made things simpler by taking advantage of the phone’s camera to be redirected to a website. NFC has the potential to fuse real world and the digital world, further reducing click through barriers. With NFC you can simply touch the phone and go.