Monday, October 11, 2010

What would I rather pick up my phone or my keys as I leave my house?

Today Nokia launch their first NFC enabled handset.

With one of these phones can I replace my Oyster card? How about my NFC car fob? What about the Garage Door? An my Bank Card has NFC so can I replace that?

The answer to all these questions is at this moment in time is NO. Therein lies the problem with standalone development and the current fixation that the App Store is the answer.

Nokia has over the last four years been working with a number of stakeholders in the NFC ecosystems. Trials that I know of include a trial of season tickets at Manchester City Football Club, replacement of Oyster Cards in London, cash replacement trials in France. They have worked hard on the development of a technology standard that will replace card readers over time, they have studied hard the ethnology around the change in behaviour.

Why then is the launch of the new handset inhibited? Because the other stakeholders in the NFC space fear that they will become locked into a walled garden controlled by Nokia perhaps? How about the fact that the innovation required for such a service now faces a lag because too much resource is directed to the needs of Apple and Android development?

If the mobile is no more than hardware and as a User I have an expectation that just like an MP3 player I should be able to fill it with the content that I want. The launch of new technology such as NFC into the mass market needs to be Federated more. That is when Nokia launch such a phone it needs to be reported by my Bank, Carmaker and Transportation provider who all tell me that I can now use it to access their services. Lets face it no Call Centre Assistant you talk to so far would be able of facilitating the firmware upgrades needed to install new services.


Ged Carroll said...

I was just thinking about the amount of handsets that get lost or stolen every year, their inconvenience and the fear (real or otherwise) if they had that much power.

Where do the people like Gemplus sit on this, given their SIM and credit card businesses surely they could be a powerful ally?

Ian Wood. Principal Wireless Foundry LLP said...

Ged Gemplus have been working with Nokia on NFC.

The last stats I saw said you knew you had lost your phones faster than if you had your wallet or keys. So to some extent the shift to mobile could make it more secure.