Near-Field Communication (NFC) has been around for years, but why is the late bloomer of mobile innovation yet to skyrocket?
Available in most current smartphones, NFC technology enables contactless transactions such as mobile payments. However, the technology only gained widespread prominence with the introduction of Apple Pay for the 2014 iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Apple Pay has created a bit of controversy here in Australia with our big banks challenging Apple in a joint submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). They argue that their own apps should be given access to the iPhone’s NFC function in the same way third-party apps can access other hardware features.
Whilst we won’t offer an opinion on the Apple Pay issue (we’ll leave that to the ACCC), what we can say, as workplace technology specialists, is that there are a lot of cool applications to which NFC could be applied in business.
So why have we seen businesses lag in adopting this nifty technology? Especially when you consider how attached we are to our smartphones!?
Is it a lack of understanding or awareness of NFC’s potential purpose and benefits? Or perhaps a lack of creativity? Here at POMT we can think of numerous ways to cleverly use NFC to benefit business productivity, collating specific data, or providing information but here are just six no-brainer applications.
1 – TAPPING YOUR WAY IN
Access points for various offices and levels must be carefully monitored and managed. Proximity cards are easily left at home, lost or worse still, in contravention of your organisation’s security policy, lent to a colleague!!
Simple ID and access management mobile applications which are centrally provisioned and managed does away with the proximity card. With mobiles already being the ultimate necessity and mandatory accessory, it easily becomes THE security device for access points within an office. Contractors and visitors can also be provided with temporary or limited access via NFC via mobiles with their movements tracked throughout the office.
2 – WIFI MADE EASY
You hear it often….“What’s the WiFi network and password?” We’ve seen businesses with passwords written on whiteboards or posted around the office, and most organisations wouldn’t have changed the password for years.
NFI WIFI checkpoints could be installed and staff or visitors could swipe their mobiles to gain access without the use of passwords.
3 – SHOWROOM STYLE
How many businesses display their products or services through their showroom or at an event, but ruin the aesthetics with ugly price tags? For a sleek finish, users can tap on designed decal branded chips and review their findings at the end of their journey through the space.
Additionally businesses could provide detailed information on the products with specifications and relevant information or give users access to Subject Matter Experts for that product all via an NFC medium.
4 – BUSINESS CARDS OF THE FUTURE
Business cards have been delivered via QR codes and USB devices. Now, NFC-chipped cards themselves offer so much more potential whilst retaining the look, feel and aesthetics your brand reflects.
Online portals allow data and actions configurations that you want the NFC card to perform and they can be updated and viewed for the next time a user taps the business card. A number of cards could be deployed that target different demographics or deliver alternative targeted messaging.
5 – CONTACT DETAILS
You know that awkward exchanging of phone numbers or email addresses when you first meet someone?
Now a simple tap of phones and you can decide what contact information to share. You could use the same functionality to send multiple contacts in groups, such as sending key project and stakeholder details.
6. DRIVING CONTENT
You are in a meeting and you’ve got a video, presentation or document on your smartphone. With NFC you can quickly share the content with everyone in the room . We are also starting to see new digital messaging technologies emerging with NFC capabilities. From nn interactive advertisement for competitions that enables entry with a tap of your mobile phone to ordering the product promoted? Even the simplicity of completing an employee survey through a digital medium.
We’ve really just touched the surface with NFC-enabled business, and at POMT we’re looking forward to all sorts of innovative and creative workplace applications of the technology with our clients.