From clothing to wristbands to watches, NFC is helping people communicate and connect their offline activities to online information. NFC is moving fast and furiously toward becoming an integrated part of our everyday lives, a "wearable" habit that can support and enhance our current activities on the go.
NFC tags are being directly attached to items, like golf clubs, as well as directly embedded in them, like within a 3D printed item to be exact. Take a company like Flomio, for example and what it's doing with NFC. The Miami-based startup brought us Flojack, an NFC-enabled reader and writer, which gave iOS users NFC when Apple didn't, and ever since has been leading the charge for NFC connectivity with new activity driven innovations. The company recently brought a new application to the marketplace, NFC 3D Printables, a new process developed which embeds the tag in the object, which can be produced from a standard '.stl' 3D file.
This is a crazy exciting new approach to NFC since NFC is all about connecting the online to the offline, the cloud to inanimate objects – M2M and peer to peer, tap, bump, score, fore. What better ways to do it then by putting the NFC tag right in and on the objects themselves.
One company doing just that is Active Mind Technology who just launched Game Golf. Game Golf attaches NFC tags to clubs which are synced to device which uses GPS, motion sensors and Bluetooth with NFC to record the golfers' performance and progress and share it with friends.
The possibilities are endless, and I can't wait to start exploring this approach to everything from the classroom and hospital to safety and gaming options.
Flomio is working with other NFC innovators, such as Capify, to introduce NFC baseball caps. Imagine what the fans, the teams, and stadium operators could do with such innovative hats. They can extend NFC technology for check-ins, ticketing, and wallet activities, which don't rely on phones and can extend these offerings by also using wristbands and bracelets. Tags can be attached to employee uniforms for inventory uses or for instructional message delivery. Schools can use these hats on class trips and hospitals are now using the wristbands and bracelets for identification services and infant safety measures.
Identification services are another great example of how wearable NFC can be used. RFID n' Print, which provides Identification services with both RF and NFC technology, is a company that has perfected a process that allows it to both customize and personalize wristbands and bracelets. This includes logos and anti-theft detection and is designed to be cost effective for providing entrance options for companies in theme parks, festivals, and other event use cases. The company has been seeing enormous growth in the area of NFC, providing devices for many of these activities across North and South America, Europe, and the UAE. Recent examples of these activities include the Electric Zoo Festival and a lobster roll held by the daily-email-for-foodies company Tasting Table in New York.
And, how about Disney's new vacation management system called MyMagic+? It is the NFC way for visitors to do just about everything in Disney World. This initiative, expected to launch this spring, is designed to enhance guest engagement and make navigating Disney a more seamless experience. Costs for the project have been estimated to range between $800 million and $1 billion.
Wristbands and bracelets aren't just being used for enhancing parks and events either. The Gap recently hosted an NFC–based marketing campaign with SmartSense in Tokyo in which shoppers at their two flagship stores could use bracelets to participate in an in-store contest conducted with associates where they could favorite outfits and share likes.
I can envision a world where people find it, like it, and share it all using NFC simply because it's so simple to do. It's great that you can be hands free and connect to someone or some service to get information you need when you need it. No need for a wallet or purse when you can check in, tap in, and pay with bracelets and wristbands and even with your watch.
By the way, have you seen the Payter watch, developed by LAKS? It has been described as "the first watch that can be used for contactless payments, identification, and many other contactless solutions." And rumor has it, Apple is working on a NFC enabled watch, too.
All of these personal and mobile activities are making media, information, activity and connectivity portable, leading to more connected environments and lives.
You can wear it, share it, and pair it, all with NFC. How will you get your NFC on?