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A lot of us on the digital side of advertising are getting excited about the future of NFC or near field communication. Basically we’ll all just need to tap our mobile device to an NFC tag to launch additional info or task. The question is what kind of things might we be able to launch. Well here’s a few.

I recently bought a pack of NFC tags from Tagstand, a company that specializes in you guessed it, NFC tags. They also have a great app called NFC Task Launcher that lets you write NFC tags.

To use NFC your device needs to be within about 5cm of the tag, so basically tapping the tag, which is typically a sticker, is the standard interaction. Here are some types of information you can pass:

  • Launch a URL, typically a website
  • Send a text message
  • Place a call
  • Transfer a vCard or contact information (good for business cards)
  • Launch an email the user can send to you (good for getting feedback)
  • Change the settings on your phone (turn on GPS, turn volume off, change your ringtone, etc.)
  • Pop up twitter with a pre-filled message to tweet
  • Check in on Foursquare
  • Check in on Facebook
  • Check in on Google Places
  • Launch an application on the users device
  • Open Navigation with driving directions
  • Set a timer
  • Set an alarm
  • Toggle phone settings on and off

These can also be done in combinations. I don’t know about you but I’ve already got a million ideas. So why aren’t we already going crazy with these. Well there are some out there but the real hold back is the number of devices that are NFC enabled. Google has led the charge building NFC into their Galaxy series, but fingers crossed when the iPhone 5 rolls out NFC enabled we’ll see them in use a lot more.

That said, now is the time as digital creatives to be learning how we can use them and start experimenting.

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