Quick NFC update…

I recently came across this nice video that articulated the various uses of NFC in Singapore. It turns out that Singapore is hot and heavy on NFC implementation.

Here’s the video.

Pretty nice stuff, considering that the adoption of NFC in the US and EU has been spotty. It seems to me that, developed countries with a lot of upwardly mobile folks are primed for NFC adoption. Yet another example is South Korea, where NFC has become the mode of choice for payments in rapid transit. 2013 has seen a lot of NFC related action in Japan as well. Some highlights,

  • JAL now has a NFC enabled boarding pass service that allows for seamless entry/exit at customs and gate checkin. JAL also allows for inflight purchases in addition to pushing location based coupons to passengers. Here’s  a little infographic on their NFC schema. japan-airlines-nfc-uses
  • Japanese conglomerate NEC launched a cloud-based NFC payments service in March
  • South Korean MNO SK Telecom in partnership with Japanese MNO’s Softbank Mobile and KDDI launched a NFC based coupon-ing service that allowed for relevant coupons to be delivered to subscribers who would tap on smart posters.
  • HTC and Samsung’s (Galaxy Round) latest phone have NFC functionality built into them.
  • Korean companies such as LG and Daewoo are incorporating NFC features in their appliances like ovens or refrigerator. These can be used for applications like diagnostics or for obtaining the latest recipes.

And the list goes on. We are yet to see these applications hit the US market. While there is a lot of focus on NFC based payments, significant ‘revenue-generating’ progress has been made in other aspects especially in the far-east markets.

Just want to also point out that competing alongside with NFC is RFID for a spot on the mobile phone. While NFC has a headstart when it comes to the mobile phone, RFID has a huge installed base that can be easily leveraged for a number of aspects. So, it is quite likely that you may hear about RFID based technologies in mobile phones at some point. NFC (13.86MHz) is in the RF spectrum (3o Hz to 30GHz), but the way it is utilized differentiates itself from RFID. More on that topic later.

This was a quick and dirty NFC update. Will swing back later with more stuff.

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