Qfuse Blog - QR Code, NFC, and Mobile Marketing News

Near Field Communications Technology – Connecting Everything Around Us

Posted on May 16th, 2018 by

Near field communications technology (NFC) is short-range wireless connectivity technology. Its in nearly every smartphone today and makes it easy and convenient to conduct transactions, exchange content, and link electronic devices. NFC enables technology in close proximity to communicate without the need for an internet connection. The technology is currently used in applications like Android Pay and Apple Pay, and has been adopted in some cities for transit use – just tap your transit card to a reader and go. Note that while NFC isn’t yet integrated into iPhone in a way that will work seamlessly for most users (outside of  this Apple Pay functionality), we impatiently await until it’s built right in (much like with Android devices).

In the future, it is possible that NFC use might replace the cards – credit and loyalty cards alike – in our wallets. Despite the success of NFC so far, there are still other applications of the technology.

For example, passive NFC “tags” are being put into posters and information kiosks to provide people more information, similar to how QR codes provide information by opening a website on the scanner’s phone. Google’s Daydream View VR headset uses the technology. Placing your smartphone into the headset triggers nearby tags to automatically download or launch the app.

An interesting possibility for NFC is the potential to revitalize brick-and-mortar retail stores. According to NextWeb, 90 percent of smartphone owners use their devices while in stores. “[B]rick-and-mortar stores are increasingly experimenting with omnichannel strategies that connect the dots between digital and physical experiences. They’re trying to meet consumers where they’re at, on their smartphones or on-the-go. And brands are increasingly coming up with creative ways to design memorable experiences to attract demographics like millennials within brick-and-mortar spaces.” Retail store, grocery stores, sporting goods stores – any store carrying consumer goods can see those goods become “smart” with the help of NFC tags.

Now, if you’re like us, you may have thought about security, especially because NFC occurs in the open air without the need of a protected internet connection. It might be of some comfort to consider that NFC chips can only be skimmed if someone puts a device within centimeters of your smartphone. However, apps like Apple Pay and Android Pay have developed security features to protect your information.

As TechRadar points out, “[t]he list of compatible devices is staggering and growing with time. It’s safe to say, if you’ve purchased a smartphone [or tablet] in the last few years, you should be ready to go.”

For more on NFC tags, click HERE or check out the sites below and do not hesitate to contact the team at QFuse with any questions, comments, or concerns!


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Apple and Google Will Never Build-In a QR Code Scanner into Smartphones

Posted on September 6th, 2012 by

It’s true!  Google and Apple won’t build-in QR Code scanning functionality unless marketers give consumers a good reason to scan QR Codes, make them easy to scan, and provide a frustration-free experience so consumers will scan again the next time they spot a QR Code.

Integrating QR Code scanning as a core function of the next generation of smartphones could be shot in the foot for companies like Google and Apple.  Why, might you ask?  When the average smartphone user scans a QR Code and has a frustrating experience they’re not going to care why it was a pain and will likely place blame on the phone itself.  In short, Apple and Google will look bad because many marketers have ignored the basics of marketing altogether.  (Check out Easily Avoidable QR Code Mistakes and QR Code Best Practices for more info on how to use QR Codes successfully.)

Many supporters of QR Codes, including the Qfuse team, would love to see Apple and Google include a native QR Code scanner into the next release of their smartphone platforms because of the potential QR Codes have for connecting consumers and supporters to different organizations.  In a recent Tech Crunch article, Brenden Mulligan explained the situation very well: “QR codes simplify {bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds} even more. It’s much easier for me to scan a code and have it take me directly to {an organizations} Twitter page than have to type in their username. Or even better, if I get a reward for taking a digital action, like filling out a survey, it’s easier to get me to the survey with a scanned code than giving me a URL to enter.”  Brenden suggests, “To truly take QR codes to the mainstream, Apple and Google should actually build a scanner into the camera logic.”  We think he’s right!

A few weeks back Glenn Fleishman went as far as to post an article on TidBITS outlining how the QR Code scanning functionality could be built into iPhones.  Glenn, you’re definitely onto something!  Regardless of how this plays out in the next generation of smartphones one thing is for certain: the better marketers get at engaging consumers with QR Codes, the greater the incentive Apple and Google will have to add a built-in native QR Code scanner into their smartphones and ultimately skyrocket the usage of this great technology.

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