NFCs, tikitags; the Future is looking very Spimey

Posted by on September 9th, 2008

As the news out of Japan hinted, they’re already moving beyond the world of QRCodes. Just as the rest of us are starting to explore it with what we like to think of as ‘futurephones’ (or is it just me?).

And I was left with this question:

So what is different about this Near Field Communication? Is there some thin electronics being printed into the poster? More investigation is clearly required.

The obvious first stop is the wikipedia entry:

NFC phone readerNFC is a short-range high frequency wireless communication technology which enables the exchange of data between devices over about a 10 centimetre (around 4 inches) distance. The technology is a simple extension of the ISO 14443 proximity-card standard (contactless card, RFID) that combines the interface of a smartcard and a reader into a single device.

So it’s RFIDs being integrated into our phones; yeah, I think we all saw that coming.

Of course now I’m wondering when we’ll see this outside of Japan. And then Bruce Sterling tweeted: “Wondering how spimey “tikitag” really is. They’re looking mighty spimed. http://www.tikitag.com/“.

And what does tikitag use? NFC:

tikitag uses high frequency RFID (Radio Frequent IDentification) operating at 13.56MHz. tikitag uses passive RFID tags and active readers. tikitag is also compatible with Near Field Communication, a standard based on HF RFID and being implemented in more and more mobile phones.

But enough with the text quotes, what does it look like? Here’s an example:
YouTube Preview Image

A simple, but powerful demo. For one, it’s far less obtrusive than having to scan the big graphic that a QRCode is. These can placed inside and behind things, so long as the reader can hit them.

And what sort of applications do they see for it?

tikitag applications

So just about everything in the modern consumer world then.

But we all just got QRCodes readers on our iPhones, N-Series Nokias, etc. They can’t be upgrading the tech already, can then? Of course they are:

What mobile phones are NFC enabled?

Today you can buy the Nokia 6131 NFC and in the near future as well the Nokia 6212 Classic. Other: BenQ T80, Motorola L7 (SLVR) NFC, Samsung SGH-D500E NFC, Samsung SGH-X700n (brick) NFC, Sagem-Orga my700X NFC, Nokia 3220 + NFC Shell and some Kyocera models.

So it’s just in new phones by most of the major makers then.

Alright kids, forget QRCodes then, get ready for NFC. I can’t wait to see what comes next; bring on the internet of things!

See Also:


Just as the rest of the world catches onto QRCodes, of course Japan’s testing the next leap forward

Posted by on September 2nd, 2008

From Pink Tentacle:

Throughout October, selected test participants will be able to receive and view digital content such as movie stills and trailers simply by holding their NFC-compatible phones (containing NFC-USIM cards) next to the smart posters. Along with the digital content, users also receive an access code that, when transferred to a compatible Hitachi HDTV at home, allows them to view a WALL-E trailer in high definition (via Hitachi’s content distribution service).

The tests, which are designed to help the companies evaluate the effectiveness and potential of NFC smart posters as a promotional medium, could be a sign of things to come in the field of poster advertising. Should NFC smart posters become cheap and easy to produce, they have the potential to replace the ubiquitous QR (2D) code that commonly appears in Japanese advertising posters. NFC is seen as more convenient than QR code because the user does not have to scan a code and visit a separate website to view the data. Instead, digital content can be accessed directly with a simple swipe of the phone.

I am very curious to see how these work in the field, and since I will be over there in a month I can find out (hooray!).

We have had billboards with data in Australia for three years now, and I am sure they are elsewhere too. So what is different about this Near Field Communication? Is there some thin electronics being printed into the poster? More investigation is clearly required.


Nokia’s concept sensor phone

Posted by on January 8th, 2008

Check out this new concept phone Nokia‘s showing off at this year’s CES.

The concept consists of two parts – a wearable sensor unit which can sense and analyze your environment, health, and local weather conditions, and a dedicated mobile phone.

The sensor unit will be worn on a wrist or neck strap made from solar cells that provide power to the sensors. NFC (near field communication) technology will relay information by touch from the sensors to the phone or to or to other devices that support NFC technology.

What can it sense? Here’s what Nokia’s envisaged so far.

Environmental monitoring

  • Atmospheric gas-level monitor (including carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and ground-level ozone detectors, for example)
  • Ultraviolet radiation sensor
  • Subscription to environmental catastrophe warning and guidance system

Personal health

  • Motion detector
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Noise level monitor

Weather monitoring

  • Air pressure sensor
  • Humidity sensor
  • Temperature sensor
  • Subscription to environmental catastrophe warning and guidance system

I can see a bunch of applications for such phones. From adding a whole new level of detail to mobloggin (embed not just your location, but the temperature and humidity), to being a handy tool for overzealous urban-explorers (no one wants to die of carbon monoxide poisoning).

Nokia concept sensor phone

via Core77