Friday, September 14, 2018

This NFC News Could Transform Mobile Engagement

You can guarantee that I was inches away from the screen during the Apple Event on September 12, watching the release of Apple’s new products. I wrote a recap on all of the big announcements showcased by some of Apple’s top leadership, which includes an upgraded line of iPhone X and Apple Watches. The new products featured better core processing, new camera features, and design upgrades. The one big thing they forgot to mention? NFC.

Give Me A Refresher
If you’re an iPhone owner, you’ve likely used Apple Pay. The technology that makes paying as easy as a quick tap? That’s Near Field Communication, or NFC! It’s basically the tech that makes wireless communication between two devices possible. Sounds a bit like Bluetooth, but it’s a lot more secure and doesn’t require the two devices to “pair” ahead of sharing information. And up until now, the tech has only been accessible through third party apps that let your phone read NFC tags.

What’s Apple Doing with NFC?
Hidden deep in the product specs is the announcement that Apple’s new phones will be equipped with NFC reader mode. What does that mean for users? Reader mode NFC recognition doesn’t require the user to download a separate application for NFC scanning. It lets you to scan the NFC tag from a product or even another tag-enabled smartphone and pull up a mobile experience or data transfer far quicker than NFC has worked have done in the not-so-distant past. It takes away the entire scanning app download process!

The Power Behind NFC+PWAs
For Progressive Web Apps (PWAs), this is a big deal. It’s a way to make mobile experiences for your customer even more seamless and reduces that cumbersome app download process. Imagine this: all it takes is a quick tap for your customer to access a coupon, send a mobile order, see a conference schedule, access a cool AR experience, or any of the other hundreds of things a brand could offer through highly-personalized mobile experiences. This is the start to a new wave of tech where brands can personalize the entire customer journey, and Apple is taking the big leap forward. While this addition probably won’t be a game-changer getting someone to buy the new line of iPhones, it will certainly start to shift the way brands think about connecting with their customers in every moment on mobile.