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back to article NFC Forum: We're not just about paying by bonk, you know

Five new Special Interest Groups (SIGs) will promote the use of Near Field Communications as the panacea which can cure what ails ya, rather than the electronic-wallet tech it has become. NFC is increasingly perceived as a pay-by-bonk technology, but has applications across industries, and the NFC Forum intends to remind …

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Anonymous Coward

Do they also promote...

Bonk by bonk?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Do they also promote...

Play by bonk isn't just about money. My Lumia + JBL NFC speakers are awesome...

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Anonymous Coward

IATA

The last I heard from IATA was that Apple had submitted a patent application covering the use of NFC in travel applications which was going to kill it stone dead in the water - it's yet another one that shouldn't be granted (because there's no inventive step - using technology X in the arena Y isn't particularly inventive) but you can bet the USPTO will, because they're a bunt of twats. The other issue was the licensing agreements that each airline would need to have with either Google/Apple/Blackberry, OR every single mobile phone operator to actually get the boarding passes onto mobile phones.

The killer will be that either Apple/Google or the Mobile Operators will want a chunk of change from the airlines for each boarding pass sent to a customer. And the airlines won't do anything which won't save them money in the long run. Web boarding passes - free. Kiosk and Agent boarding passes - pennies per passenger.

Unless the Mobile Operators and Handset Makers use a different model and build the cost of the NFC infrastructure into the price of the phone/contract so that the end-user pays for the convenience then it will never take off.

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Bronze badge
FAIL

Re: IATA

"The killer will be that either Apple/Google or the Mobile Operators will want a chunk of change from the airlines for each boarding pass sent to a customer."

What?

Several airlines already have apps available that provide passengers with electronic board passes. All they need to do is change those apps to use the NFC chip and that's that.

All NFC is is a short-distance wireless protocol, and it is free to be used by whatever app wants to use it, just as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are. Just because it's currently being used for making payments doesn't mean that every NFC transfer involves money. Android Beam uses NFC and that doesn't cost anything to use.

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Bronze badge

Re: IATA

"Several airlines already have apps available that provide passengers with electronic board passes. All they need to do is change those apps to use the NFC chip and that's that."

The "Secure Element" in NFC is generally the SIM card. You can bet your bottom dollar that the telco's will try to force companies who want to use the secure element to pay for the right. They're losing their lucrative revenue streams as people start using iMessage instead of SMS, etc. They're looking for new revenue streams and NFC is in their sights.

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Anonymous Coward

NFC is the next big security problem, especially on Android where an NFC tag can do pretty much anything it wants without user confirmation.

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Facepalm

I'm sure that NFC security was the LAST thing on their minds.

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Alert

Windows Phone being a good (bad?) counter-example of secure NFC. My wireless charging stand has NFC. The idea being that I tap my phone against it (why, when I'm already placing it on the stand to charge?!?) and then launching an app of my choice while the phone charges.

Other than needing that tap, so far so good. Where the security gets in the way is that after the tap, but before the app launches, the OS prompts to confirm that I really want to do this. And there's no option to remember my choice for next time.

NFC on Windows Phone is a bit like UAC on Vista was.

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Anonymous Coward

I love it. NFC forum have to push its capabilities because joe pleb hasn't got the imagination to think of its capabilities.

The plebs have to wait for Apple to find a killer application for it before it goes mainstream.

Shocking state of affairs.

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I can think of a few things that I'd love to be able to do:

* Load boarding passes on my phone (as mentioned above). I do this for some airlines already, but it's annoying having to unlock my screen to scan the barcode. It would be much easier to just pull out my phone, and hold it up to a reader.

* Building passes. Same as above - it's a pain ending up with a number of passes for various buildings I need to enter, and keeping track of them. Much better to just have it stored on my phone.

* Transport cards. You get the idea.

I can't see this happening for a while anyway. Not so much because of phone support, but because of the infrastructure that will have to be built to support it. Will be good when applications start appearing though.

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Bronze badge

Maybe there should be...

...permanent luggage tags. You buy one to attach to your bag, and it is scanned at the airport and inserted into the database. It is latched onto your name and address, so if it gets "lost", the bag could find you.

In this case the cost of the tag happens ONCE for the user (per bag), and you don't have "throw-aways" that the costs add up on.

An interesting idea, you heard it here first. No, I haven't patented it yet.

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Bronze badge
Unhappy

interoperability

Interoperability will be the killer. Unless some agreed on, open and free standards can be set up and implemented, then it's simply not going to work. I suspect what will happen will be the creation of a number of incompatible walled gardens as each big player tries to carve out it's own revenue generation field rather than playing nice and actually creating something the user can use without having to think about it. In the long run, that would almost certainly generate more revenue as *everyone* can use the entire ecosystem rather than many smaller and fixed ecosystems which most people will not move between.

Just look at TV/DVD/BD remotes. Just how many mutually exclusive code sequences can they come up with?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: interoperability

"Just look at TV/DVD/BD remotes. Just how many mutually exclusive code sequences can they come up with?"

I don't know. I suppose I could ask my HP48GX how many I had stored in it. Ah, the days when proper calculators still existed! (Yes, it was a proper calculator, and it was so well designed you could even use it as a remote :-) ).

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