The NFC Research Lab at the Hagenberg campus of Upper Austria University of Applied Sciences recently implemented a smart-poster campaign using NFC technology. The posters, scattered throughout the town of Hagenberg, provide tourists with information about the town, making this project the first of its kind in Austria.
The “posters” consist of 20 informational signs and maps embedded with Near Field Communication (NFC) RFID tags that have been strategically placed throughout the city. Researchers used short-range 13.56 MHz RFID tags to transmit secure information from one NFC device to another. The RFID tags are embedded in each poster, and once the owner of a NFC-enabled phone passes by, he/she can scan the tagged poster by simply holding the phone close to the logo. From there, text and pictures appear on the phone about various tourist attractions around town.
So, if someone can simply hold their phone to a sign and retrieve content, it makes me wonder about the existence of QR codes. Sure, not every smart-phone is NFC enabled now, but in a few years, I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t be. Even the iPhone is rumored to be NFC-enabled in its next round. While I love QR codes, it seems as if NFC-based mobile tagging saves consumers a step by not having to download an app or go into the app in order to scan a barcode.