NFC Won't Bridge the Physical and Digital Gap (Completely)

Right now everyone is looking at mobile to bring the physical and digital worlds together. While it seems that all the recent hype about Near Field Communications (NFC) technology makes it out to be a child prodigy in regards to linking these two worlds, I'm not quite sold. Yes, it brings us one step closer to replacing our wallet with our phone, but there is a glaring pitfall to solely relying on NFC for everything else. NFC is extremely limited in distance; a phone has to be within four inches for NFC to successfully work.

As long as the QR code is large enough, you could theoretically have it on anything static. Imagine trying to scan a NFC tag on a Zynga billboard in Time Square for an exclusive purple cow in Farmville. QR codes are great when used correctly and now that awareness has become somewhat mainstream it's not time to drop them. On the other hand, QR codes are notoriously being used incorrectly: none of us could scan a QR code on a billboard directly across from our office let alone in our cars at the busy intersection.

I implore everyone not to forget a currently working technology, QR codes, even with its flaws. Let NFC handle mobile payments and hyper-location specific tasks, but we still need the tech that isn't so reliant on proximity. Feel free to completely neglect QR codes when Google Goggles becomes fully functional.

While Asia is a whole other story as far as QR code adoption goes, this is an amazing campaign none the less.

1 comment:

Greg Berry said...

Well said old friend! I would love to hear what you think about google glass.

-Greg Berry