Cynics who've been wondering what Near-Field Communications was for, wonder no longer - it's for switching on the Christmas lights in Cambridge. No other technology would do. Sheila Ferguson Sheila Ferguson For generations, C-list celebrities have had to make do with a big red button. Yet on Sunday - as if to hammer home the …
someone out of sight to be pressing the real button.
@Paul E. You are correct.
The "Big Red Button" used for such events has never actually started the lights, and is rarely connected to anything at all. At most, it sounds a buzzer by radio control.
There is a technician watching/listening who presses the actual Big Red Button, which in most cases is actually small and black. Sometimes it's not even a button - keyswitches and even touchscreens are quite popular for semi-permanent installs.
This is because you can't trust minor celebrities to *not* hit the Big Red Button until the right moment. Show a celebrity a Big Red Button and they'll hit it immediately!
- To be fair, most people find Big Red Buttons utterly irresistible.
(Obviously, it's not because it would be a pain to install a button, wire it into the system, test, re-test and test it again and finally discover that some scrote has 'accidentally' unplugged it when you try to use it. Not at all.)
For example, next time you watch the National Lottery Draws, watch the person standing next to the machine. You'll notice that they actually press a little black button on the machine shortly after the Big Red Button is pressed by the host. They don't even bother trying to hide it now.
That said, the whole point of such events is the press coverage for the sponsors, so they're doing rather well.
Urge to press a big red button
Reminds me of a Father Ted episode which is far more enjoyable than trudging into the centre of Cambridge & taking out a mortgage for car parking just to watch a Z list *celeb* who ranks even lower than the moronic numpties on the psuedo local radio station pressing a button/waving a phone under the pretence of turning on naff lights that waste money and energy half of which will fail before Cristmas - oh bah humbug!
I did miss read this
I must admit than when I read this I had images of the Buxom Lass with a NFC device stuck down her cleavage, swiping her bust across the reader, I'm sure it would have got more press coverage, but on the whole I'm glad I was wrong.
...it's a shame that Benny Hill's no longer with us... think of the possibiities ;-)
Cue 'Yakkety Sax'...
And the obligatory sped-up chase around the christmas tree.
Thank you sir.
Sufficient silicon, only need to brush up against them, convenient height for turnstyles and bars
Knocker-Knocker communication could be big!
NFC is pretty cool
Just floundering a bit from a commercial point of view. I bought a few tags to play with, they are about a quid each. The one on my bedside table puts the phone on silent and disables bluetooth when I put it on top of it, the one stuck to the back of my car holder does the reverse when I leave the house in the morning.
OK its nothing groundbreaking, but it appeals to the geek in me and it adds more to my life than someone I've never head of switching on fairy lights.
the same could be done via RFID, and not require any of the 2 way comms (and subsequent power requirements) that NFC does.
Horses for courses and all that.
It doesn't take much power to transmit a couple of centimetres, I certainly don't notice the battery hit.
I don't know if I could have made an auto configure tag for my router to setup SSID/WPA & connect on touch using RFID but like I said, at around a quid each for NFC I wasn't really going to worry about it. It's just a geek project for my own amusement.
I'm sure it's just the hacker in me, but I was left wondering if it was possible to turn off all possible options, and then turn off the NFC ...
It'd be great to stick one on the wall with a "Do not NFC this patch!" and see how many people turn their phones off.
Big Red Button
In terms of Christmas lights, the last switch on I was at just involved a hairy technician plugging the lights into the mains out of sight while a presenter from the local tinpot radio station pulled a lever. Nothing complicated as buttons, touch screens etc.
Big "red" buttons have been missed for many years.
When they finished the transcontinental railroad, they wanted to make a telegraph signal when the golden spike was driven. Turns out that the guy (it may have been Leland Stanford himself, but I'm not sure) missed the spike. The telegraph operator closed the circuit anyway. The saying "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" has been around for a a long long time (it was in the 1860's for the railroad!).
The more things change, the more things stay the same.
Oy Reg. Alex Winters is like a melon farming Rock Star in my house. Even to the point that we're going to see him do Panto in Pontypridd. Don't knock The Winters or my four year old will come after you with a Tinker-bell doll and half a cookie.
- Pic Forget the $2499 5K iMac – today we reveal Apple's most expensive computer to date
- RUMPY PUMPY: Bone says humans BONED Neanderthals 50,000 years B.C.
- Geek's Guide to Britain Kingston's aviation empire: From industry firsts to Airfix heroes
- Analysis Happy 2nd birthday, Windows 8 and Surface: Anatomy of a disaster
- Review Vulture trails claw across Lenovo's touchy N20p Chromebook