NFC stands for Near Field Communication. Though just starting to gain some consumer awareness now, the concept has been around since the early 80’s and an industry forum to adopt protocols was created in 2004.

The basic idea is to allow devices to communicate with one another when directly touched or brought in close contact with one another. The communication can be one way meaning that one device simply lets the other know it is there, or two-way meaning that they can exchange information. The dominate usage of this technology will be driven by new and more efficient ways that mobile devices can interact with other devices (mobile or not). Examples:

• Having your phone act as a digital wallet. Just tap the phone on a terminal to pay for your groceries.
• Share photos or contacts just by touching your phone to another.
• No more entering Wi-Fi passwords at public places. Just tap you phone on the Wi-Fi badge. This also allows public Wi-Fi providers to dynamically change their security.
• No more hotel room or car keys. Just tap your phone on the door and it unlocks.

I believe that the adoption rate of this technology will sky rocket in the next year or two. Most Android based phones have it built-in. The next generation Apple devices are sure to incorporate it into their feature set which, like all things Apple, will generate some buzz. You’ll see a plethora of app’s along with creative uses of the technology for everything from running your business to taking care of your pets.

On my side of the technology fence, we are downright giddy about the possible uses for this technology. We could place sensors in key areas of the home to facilitate certain tasks. Consider these scenarios:

• Tapping your phone on a hidden sensor at the front door would automatically unlock the door, disarm the security and based upon time of day flip on a light or two in the mudroom. Since each phone is unique, phones used by your son or daughter could trigger the system to send you a text or email so that you know they are home and safe.
• Upon entering your bedroom, the system would know who entered and automatically turn on the right music and set the heat to your preference.
• At night time, tap your phone on the bedside table which could then alarm the security system, automatically set back the heat, turn of the lights, lower your shades and make sure all TV’s and music are off.

Even with these few ideas you can hopefully see how we could use this technology to make other technology work for you by simplifying tasks and streamlining daily routines. I believe that as this technology will be easy to enjoy because it removes steps instead of adding something new to learn.

We are currently testing some ideas and coming up with typical daily functions that could benefit from being simplified. What do you think? Do you have any ideas?