RFID Enabled Cell phones – What it Means for Marketing

NFC Enabled Courtesy Microsoft

NFC Enabled
Courtesy Microsoft

Just picture yourself enjoying a new wine at a restaurant.  You love the ’91’ Pinot Noir and want to order a case for your wine cellar. So, you hold your phone close to the wine label, and zing! Up pops a tantalizing description of your wine with links to ratings and ordering information. All you need to do is enter “yes” to the “order now?” prompt. Well, pretty soon, you might be in luck because if all goes well, RFID enabled cell phones might open up a whole new avenue of shopping. Ok, just on the off-chance you haven’t heard of Radio Frequency Identification or better known as RFID, it’s basically a little chip that gets embedded into a label or money, or credit cards or whatever the object and transmits a signal to a reader. Of course, right now, RFID works best in situations where the object is closer to the reader. Quite intentionally — because you don’t want the object you are connecting with to be confused with other tagged objects. Future cell phone generations equipped with RFID readers may have some major uses for marketers. Thus far, the RFID industry has been a bit sluggish — stalled by privacy issues, costs, trying to get better scans of the target, and mitigating signal interference issues. The recreational uses present a new frontier for marketers looking for innovative ways of breaking through all of the messaging noise to sell their products. Future iPhone generations are supposedly planned to be equipped with RFID readers. Imagine all those new apps! According to the NFC Forum, Near Field Communication (NFC) technology provides global interoperability of contactless identification and interconnection technologies. NFC operates in the 13.56 MHz frequency range, over a typical distance of a few centimeters. The underlying technology is based upon common technology standards supported by global communication device manufacturers and network operators with the intention of being compatible with hundreds of millions of cards and readers already deployed globally. TD

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