Let’s face it, there is only one manufacturer that can create mass adoption of NFC services and devices, they are called Apple.

The NFC market today is in its infancy, a few shops are installing terminals BUT I guarantee you that if the following patents filed by Apple are due to appear in the next iPhone, then we’ll see the rapid uptake of contactless technology by retailers, appliance manufacturers and rivals. This is going to be BIG.

We are talking about handset manufacturers redefining mobile advertising here.  What kind of things could happen?

  • NFC enabled TVs – TV shows and adverts will become interactive. See a product you like? Just move your phone over the TV or remote and get more info/coupons/store directions right on your handset
  • Apple enable mobile banners in Safari to have ‘Click to coupon’ functionality – meaning that offers and coupons from what you see online can go directly into your phones ‘wallet’ which can be redeemed at shops.

But forget payments for a moment, NFC allows you to do some incredible creative interactions with interfaces. Check out the patent diagrams that Apple have filed which show some cool executions:

  • Using the accelerometer on the handset to change the orientation of what’s on the Macbook screen.
  • Lock and unlock your Macbook using your iPhone.
  • Unlock doors using iPhone as a keycard

And this is just tip of the iceberg stuff, can you imagine the ways developers and brands will use this? I previously thought this would feature in the iPhone in 2011, but if this happens in the summer it’s bloody exciting.

[Via ElectricPig] (Great blog)

  • Bod

    I hate to say it (you know I don’t really mean that eh bud?) but I’m going to have to challenge you on a few things with this:

    You say that “only one manufacturer that can create mass adoption of NFC services and devices”. With so little market share, mass adoption in Apple products is impossible. They can act as a catalyst yes, but be the “driver”? I’m not so sure. I’m afraid that you need to look at the likes of Nokia for that.

    The challenge with NFC in general is that it’s not just about the mobile device. You need the device, the ‘terminal’ or reader, and you also need the service/application. The additional challenge is that you need all 3 and in doing so, you get into a chicken+egg scenario – device manufactureres will be reticent to invest in implementing it without it being widespread in stores and neither will be willing to go too far unless supported by financial institutions/credit cards.

    Controlling your MAC with your iPhone is great – but that is a million miles away from a market driver.

    I hate to state the obvious but I think that retail and finance will need to be the driver. Once mobile payment is real (and I think that 2010 or 2011 will see the breakthrough), the other (less lucrative) applications will follow because the barrier to entry has been removed – this will mean things like topping up your credit from an NFC enabled poster, unlocking the front door, starting a car, and earning loyalty points at the gym will all be in the realms of reality…

    • http://www.mobileinc.co.uk Murat

      Sorry I’m going to have to disagree with your disagreement Dave (you know I’m not sorry)

      I’m not saying ‘mass adoption of Apple products’, I’m talking about how this will create mass adoption of NFC products and services regardless of the manufacturer. You can’t deny something like this will cause a chain reaction in rival manufacturers (me too!), retailers and consumer mindset. Look at Apps, no one even knew what the word meant when it came to mobile pre-iPhone and now there are over 20 App stores for devices and operators.

      Apple will create the market for NFC. Soon as the iPhone gets it retailers will be falling over themselves to update there EPOS and create other experiences using NFC. The service/application side will be taken care of by Apple, they won’t release the iPhone without a wallet function (even if they don’t one of the 1000s of developers or brands will).

      All the cool stuff like opening doors etc will come from developers tapping into the functionality, while it might not be lucrative it will generate hype and sell the concept of NFC (and iPhone) more.

      Other manufacturers will start building NFC because they won’t want to be left behind Apple again. If you look at the touchscreen handset market today, how much of it is influenced by what the iPhone has done? Is there any other phone which can create awareness, buzz and change like the iPhone?

      Nokia have had NFC for years now, they clearly don’t know what to do with it, bumbling around with a few lame clamshells while Apple will jump in and grab the market.

  • Stephfox

    It’s not the hardware that’s an issue here, it’s the micropayment platform. Obviously Apple have nailed the tight integration of devices and iTunes, making micropayments a reality. I agree this is super big news for non-cash transactions.

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  • http://azitravel.com/blog taige

    Yeah I agree with Murat. I think NFC will take off if Apple wants it to. Great post

  • Geister

    All channels, all net. Would you like to know more?

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