In a sign of the imminent mass market arrival of NFC ‘touch-to…’ technology, Nokia has launched a service for creating NFC tags and posters. The NFC Hub enables users to order NFC tags pre-programmed with Facebook and Foursquare check-ins, Twitter follows or any custom web address. It is intended to expedite the rollout of NFC tags in shops, public venues and company offices.
NFC Hub is a model of simplicity: users select the action for the NFC tag, such as a Facebook follow or their company web address. The next step is to choose either a basic NFC tag (costing £3) or one of Nokia’s own formats, including a business card (£11), sticker (also £11), A4 poster (£20) or A3 poster (£25). Users can also opt to have these laminated and customised with their own logo and message for an additional fee. Nokia even includes double-sided tape with the posters, making them easy to place on the wall.
The NFC Hub impresses in two ways. Firstly, it shows how conscious Nokia is of the entire chain of experience for NFC. Releasing NFC-enabled handsets is pointless unless there is a wide range of uses for them and making it easy for anyone to create their own tags is the best way to ensure proliferation of ‘touch-to…’ locations. Secondly, the NFC Hub site itself is efficient and well documented, with videos and introductory guides to help those unfamiliar with the technology.
The user experience of NFC will be determined in large part by the tags themselves, how they are presented and what they are capable of doing. Indeed, here at MEX we believe the user experience of engaging the physical world through proximity gestures such as ‘touch-to…’ will require new thinking from experience designers. Look for a future MEX Pathway on this topic, examining the subject in more detail and prompting the creation of new ideas.
In the mean time, go create your own tags and start experimenting.