Monday 26 September 2011

The Nokia NFC experience: To NFC and beyond!

Nokia may not currently be amongst the frontrunners in the smartphone race; however, their new Symbian Belle platform does have a promising future. At the recently concluded Nokia NFC event, we had a chance to play around with a few NFC devices, and it’ll be fair to say that with NFC, Nokia could be having a potential ace up its sleeve this fall.

We had a hands-on preview of Nokia’s new 600, 700 and 701 range of Symbian Belle devices that had NFC chips inbuilt in the devices. There were a few NFC client devices as well, with an NFC-enabled speaker, a few NFC tags and an NFC-enabled Bluetooth handsfree. Whatever the peripheral you’re connecting to, you need to simply tap your smartphone and the connection will be complete. We tried it with the above mentioned client devices and connection was seamless. Playback on the speaker was lag-free and the Bluetooth handsfree performed flawlessly as well. An interesting thing to note is that in case the NFC option is switched ON but the device is locked, NFC access will not be granted. We reckon this to be more of a security feature, as it will prevent unauthorized connections or accessibility.

Nokia also demonstrated a few more uses of the NFC technology. For example, the NFC phones had the Angry Birds game pre-installed and unlocking new levels required users to connect to NFC tags. That can’t be counted as something ground-breakingly innovative but now that the idea is there, Nokia just needs to find the right way to implement it. The company also gave a brief overview of how they plan to get NFC to the masses and they’ve mentioned that they’re concentrating on giving it a more personal flavour, which is definitely a step in the right direction.

As a personal opinion, simply labelling the NFC phones as payment or validation devices will get Nokia just thus far, and if they indeed want to usher in a new era in wireless connectivity, then the phones need to be much more than just that. For example, NFC can totally eliminate the need for users to require passes for public transport. But, the options for Nokia shouldn’t stop there. Featuring it with a log chart application that computes your monthly travel based on your NFC swipes, and eventually giving you your average monthly expenditure sounds more useful and customer oriented. Obviously, this is a far-fetched thought, but helping the user with personal needs definitely helps build consumer satisfaction.

In terms of hardware offerings Nokia is right up there with its competitors, and with the company swiftly improving its software with the incorporation of a range of new features, competition in the smartphone arena is only going to get stronger.

Here’s Nokia’s representation of how they intend to bring NFC onto their latest smartphones.

No comments:

Post a Comment