The introduction of the new Google Nexus S last year heralded the arrival of new flagship Android handset. Alongside a host of whiz-bang new features, it brought with it a small but potentially transformative piece of technology: The NFC chip.
NFC, or near field communication, is a very simple idea. Designed primarily for mobile phones, it allows two embedded devices to talk to each other at extremely close range (less than 10cm).
Wave your phone over a embedded tag or NFC transmitter and the device will be prompted to perform a specific digital task or function. At its simplest, this could allow your phone to work as an electronic ticket or hotel room key. More complicated functions may allow it to initiate a payment, much like many credit or debit cards already allow you to do.
As NFC works its way into more handsets (rumors indicate the next-generation iPhone will also include this technology) it presents some interesting possibilities and opportunities for real estate.
Taking the web into the real world
QR codes, which have been all the rage lately among Realtors, face one giant hurdle: Consumer acceptance.
Slapping a QR code on your listing flyer or for-sale sign might make for great geek cred. But at the end of the day - let’s be honest - it makes for a pretty lousy end-user experience. Consumers have to have an application installed on their phone, and they still have to be motivated to take out their handset and snap a picture of a baffling-looking barcode.
NFC, at least directionally, points us in a simpler direction. And over the next few years, we expect to see this technology permeate deeply into the industry.
NFC enabled yard signs that deliver a HD video introduction by the listing agent. Lockboxes that deliver agent remarks or listing details straight to a visiting agent’s phone.
All of this is going to be possible in the very near future.
All without the bewildering barcode.