Stick an NFC tag on an existing keychain, or order a customized NFC keychain online, and program it to complete a task you often do on the go. This can be anything from putting your phone in hot-spot mode to firing up your favorite playlist.
Prank your friends
The least practical, but arguably the most entertaining application of NFC tags is for pranks and rickrolling. If an NFC tag that contains a link is scanned, the Android device will not ask for permission before launching the browser. Scary, right? Questions regarding security come to mind, but can you imagine the possibilities? Fellow CNETer Jeff Sparkman suggests, “Program an NFC tag to open YouTube and play the video for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Hide tag near your target. Hilarity ensues!”
Since NFC Applications is still making its way to the mainstream, third parties have not yet integrated the technology into many products or services. So far, Google Wallet is one of the only services that has invested in building an infrastructure that allows users to replace credit cards with NFC-enabled phones.
The challenge here is that creating such an infrastructure is expensive, takes time, and its success relies on the consumers’ awareness of NFC. Even with all of Google’s efforts, Wallet is still a niche product, mostly due to the lack of NFC-ready credit card terminals and NFC-ready phones and tablets.
Soon enough, we might see Bluetooth or Wi-Fi speakers with NFC built-in. With that in place, a phone or tablet can be paired with a speaker by simply tapping the two devices. Hints of such a solution are creeping in, as Google’s music streaming device, the Nexus Q, includes NFC, but the company has not yet revealed its purpose.
More secure online shopping
An interesting roundup from dives deep into the future of NFC to discuss a handful of practical ways the technology could be integrated into our future lives.
One of the more compelling ideas is using NFC to propel more secure online shopping. In their example, a small NFC-enabled unit is connected to a laptop. Before the user can make a purchase, he or she must tap their NFC-ready credit card (or phone) on the attached unit. Then, instead of entering a PIN, the user would draw a gesture on their credit card (or phone) before finalizing the purchase.
Traveling with NFC
Last year, SAS Scandinavian Airlines introduced a “Smart Pass” pilot program to some of their frequent fliers by giving them custom NFC tags to stick on the back of their phones.
In the future, when more consumers own NFC-enabled phones, airports, event centers, stadiums, movie theaters, and more, might invest in the infrastructure that allows users to forego paper tickets (and even avoid interacting with employees) and replacing them with the tap of an NFC phone. NFC Applications is important.