back to article Museum gets free NFC phone-tap exhibit cards from Nokia

The Museum Of London has gone NFC, with tags beside the exhibits providing links to more information as Nokia continues trying to convince us that NFC is something we really want. Nokia paid for the deployment, as it continues trying to remind us that NFC isn't just about mobile payments and can be used for all sorts of other …


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  1. melt


    I recently went to an exhibition put on the the University of Sheffield's engineering department.

    Each exhibit's card had a QR code in the corner that took you to a web page with video and further URLs to departments or companies involved, journals talking about the work etc.

    It was quite useful, and more relevantly, it was open to any smartphone with a camera and probably didn't cost much to do.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: QR

      I think you'll find that's "any smartphone with a camera and QR recognition / processing capability". The last bit's quite important.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yeah - not many of them around

        And only 153,000,000 hits on "qr app" on google...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Technology for technology's sake.

    No doubt Nokia have their brand all over the museum now, how long before they dictate what can and cannot be displayed? I don't agree with this sort of thing, kids are brainwashed enough already by the drivel spewing from these commercial corps, allowing it in an educational establishment paid for by our taxes cannot be a good thing in any way.

  3. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

    Could replace the talky-guide things, but ideal tech is not here yet.

    In fairness to Nokia, they're at least evaluating the technology in a real setting, and nobody's got to pay for it except them. Some exhibits do need their commentary to make sense (and I'm not making a jab at conceptual art here, I'm thinking of historic monuments, or objects that are famous by association with events, rather than for themselves).

    I reckon there's a benefit here for something, either via QR codes or via NFC , that links to containing the commentary audio. Thing is, I don't think either of these is the right technology.

    The disadvantage with QR codes is that to successfully grab them, phone cameras often engage the flash, which is not a good idea in some environments. If a museum is kept dark, it's precisely to stop damage to sensitive artifacts by UV light.

    NFC isn't a bad solution, but still requires you to get very close to the plaque or sticker.

    The best technology for this is probably in-building location services. Knowing what you're standing in front of, an application can automatically give you the commentary. Or better yet, can tell you what you're passing as you walk along a corridor. If you've ever visited a place the size of the British Museum (or for the techies, the Deutsches Museum's Technology exhibition in Munich), you'd appreciate something like this.

    This has already been done outdoors: visit Culloden battlefield (in Scotland), and the mobile-guide thing uses GPS to do locate you, and give you an explanation of what you're looking at.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    The advantage of QR Codes

    Is that YOU have to make a positive decision to capture one.

    YOU are in control

    NFC? It is so wrong. Just like those chips we now have in our passports. My Pasport is kept in an old lead lined film bag. If I ever get a smartphone with NFC this will be the first thing that gets disabled.

    You are not in control with NFC. The Operators are in control.

    1. Aspect
      Thumb Down

      Do you have

      a lead-lined tin-foil hat too?

  5. AB

    Didn't Nokia used to make phones?

    ...or something?

    Burning platform etc. etc. Elop conspiracy, WP7 sucks, Microsoft trojan buyout...

    Ah, I don't even have the energy any more. Nokia's done.

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