The NFC Forum, a non-profit association that advances the use of Near Field Communication technology has become very popular lately with the inclusion of a marquee member - Google. The group also welcomed 31 new associate members and reported that CSR and Intel have raised their membership status to the Principal level, from Associate.
Near-field communication has been in the spotlight lately as reports circulate that both Google and Apple are incorporating the technology in the next versions of their respective platforms. Most recently, the Wall Street Journal tantalized the market with a report of how Google is building this functionality for Android. Once it rolls out, advertisers can expect more ad options for mobile users as Google will not be taking a cut of the transaction. Rather it will share data with retailers about these mobile users, allowing them to deliver targeted mobile ads to their devices.
Another sign this may indeed be true: Google tellingly killed support for QR codes in its Places product last week, TechCrunch noted.
The technology is being developed by these and other firms is to enable mobile payment technology. However the hype about the technology - little-noticed even last year - has gotten companies already thinking about other deployments. "For instance, there will probably be a lot of mobile apps that will use the technology to send push alerts to a user's phone, Craig Hepburn, Nokia's global head of digital, told New Media Age.
"I can see it being used in apps from retailers to send discount coupons to consumers."
Too Much, Too Soon?
It may be, though, that the fragmented approach to NFC will ultimately hinder its progress, according to FierceWireless. The fine-tuning the business model for this service is challenging, it said, with wireless carriers, platform providers, device makers and financial institutions all wanting some of the revenue flows. How they will all work together to deliver an integrated solutions to consumers is still unclear.