Near field communication is the future of QR codes. Instead of scanning a QR code with you phone, near field communication allows for two devices to exchange data and other information wirelessly in very close proximity to one another. Most smart phones already contain the technology to do this. They contain NFC (near field communication) chips that allow for this close transfer of information. NFC can allow for mobile purchases. A cellphone that contains a person's credit card information can touch or even just wave it near the reader at a store and the transaction can be completed. NFC will also be able to change social networking, as two individuals who have NFC capable phones can simply bring them together to share files and information or even add people as friends on a social network.
http://mobile.mit.edu/research/connective-tissue/nfc-applications-everyday-life This page from MIT shows was near field communication can be used in everyday life. Go through the pictures on the top of the site. The one where the guy is using his phone to scan in through the gates to the subway, I think, is so awesome. I can't wait until we can all actually do that.
I'm really hoping that all of this really helps the environment too. My roommates used to get annoyed with me about this, but I can't stand when people waste paper and other recyclable products. Can you imagine just how much paper we could save on subway tickets and tickets for all forms of transportation? I know not everyone has a smart phone, but I think regular cell phones are going to be completely outdated within the next ten years. I don't think you'll be able to get a phone that doesn't have the capacity to do things like scan codes and check email.
Social networking, which has recently become very popular in marketing, will be made much simpler through NFC. Two people will only need to tap their phones together to add each other as friends. At conventions, instead of handing out business cards or hurrying to log onto Facebook or LinkedIn to add a friend, all that a group of people will need to do is tap phones.
For more information on near field communication:
- NFC Basics - This site has some very basic information on NFC. It makes it really easy to at least grasp the main concept of it.
- NFC Forum - This page describes what NFC is and also lists the benefits of NFC. For more information about the NFC Forum and their goals for NFC, see the about us page.
- ECMA International's Overview of Near Field Communication - This page has some great pictures and examples on how NFC can be used in daily life.