Is NFC the next big thing in Print?

Near Field Technology (NFC) is the latest way to combine the print space with the digital space.  While it’s been used overseas for some time, it’s just starting to gain a foot hold in America.   A printed piece with an NFC tag enables a user to simply tap their phone to the piece and go to a website or video.  This is different from a QR code in that there’s no app to download or open, and the user doesn’t have a code to scan.  Today’s Smart Phones come with this built in, so consumers already have this technology.

From a production standpoint, NFC is best done as a sticker which is applied to another larger piece (poster, billboard, brochure etc).   The NFC forum has developed an “N Mark” to advise consumers that an NFC tag is available.

The “opt in” nature of the NFC concept allows the user to decide what’s relevant to their interests.  In addition, NFC smart projects are flexible,  low in cost compared to other dynamic displays (Such as LCD displays), easy to implement, and updateable.

  • Interact with end-users to provide up-to-date information, sell them services (e.g., concert tickets or ringtone downloads), or provide them with the means to make contact at their own convenience (e.g., “Touch here to download the phone number for our service agent”)
  • Dynamically select or update the content accessed via the Smart Poster. This can occur in response to an application stored with personalized information on the user’s NFC device or, information such as fresh produce prices can be updated in a back-end system
  • Establish which information is actually meeting its objectives (for example, is the advertising reaching the correct demographic/number of people?)
  • Jack in the boxCreate instantly achievable calls to action (e.g., downloading music via an advertising NFC Smart Poster)

Case Study: NFC Posters Used to Drive Traffic to Merchants – San Francisco, USA

In the landmark 2008 Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) NFC mobile payment and transportation pilot project in San Francisco, NFC Smart Posters were successfully deployed to help drive traffic to merchant locations. In multiple BART train stations across the San Francisco Bay area, posters for Jack in the Box were deployed, allowing participants to tap their phones to get directions to the nearest Jack in the Box location and receive updates about any special promotions going on. Participants could use their phones to ride BART to the nearest location, and they could just tap their phones at contactless payment readers in Jack in the Box locations to pay for their meals.

Contributors: ViVOtech, BART, Sprint, First Data, Jack in the Box, Cubic

Source:   NFC Forum

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