15 Non Payment Uses For NFC

BY GreenBot Staff

Published 28 Feb 2013

NFC; is not just for mobile payments

You mostly hear about near-field communication as it relates to mobile payments. At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, mobile payments are only one side of the NFC chip. We took a walk around the show floor. We found 15 different ways companies are showing NFC technology. Very few of which have anything to do with spending money.

The NFC Experience

The GSMA is taking NFC to the max at the Mobile World Congress. Not only did the mobile trade group partner with Sony and give away thousands of NFC-enabled Sony Xperia T3 smartphones. Also there are giant NFC posters situated around the venue. Member participants could tap different posters to discover events, venues, and city restaurant information.

Tap for Airplane Mode

Switching your mobile device to Airplane Mode means fumbling for the settings screen. If airlines implement this NFC-enabled poster, passengers can tap to switch modes.

A Content Gumball Machine

Razorfish’s gumball machine dispenses content, not gum. Just insert a coin, turn the crank. And tap your NFC-enabled device to get music, videos, apps, e-books, or coupons delivered directly to your phone.

Tag a Bag

Just your luggage? Assuming it wasn’t stolen, Tag-a-Bag can help. This NFC-enabled baggage tag lets travelers passively track their bags. If a bag is lost and found by someone with an NFC-enabled device. That person can tap against the label to find out the owner’s information and send a message. Along with the location, to the owner’s phone.

Tap for Music

Sony’s SBH-20 wireless Bluetooth headset connects to your NFC-enabled music device with a tap. Tapping against the headset starts up the Bluetooth link. It’s faster than manually setting up Bluetooth. There goes one excuse for not jogging.

The New Eco Friendly Business Card

NFC actually makes a lot of sense for business cards. Just tap a card with your NFC-enabled device to transmit contact information, website addresses, or other business-related info. Could you think of the paper we’ll save?

Wireless File Transfer

This is Sony using NFC to start a Bluetooth link. Sony’s LLS-201 Personal Station links your phone and computer wirelessly via Bluetooth for content syncing. Drop your phone on the Station’s surface; photos, files, and contacts will automatically update.

Tap for Info

This is the most common use of NFC seen at the Mobile World Congress. It seems like every company has some little NFC hotspot that you can tap for information. Like a virtual press kit or advertisement.

Your Own Hotspots

If you want to set up your home, car, or office M-style, you can pick up these personal hotspots from Tagster. Tagster offers packets of six hotdot NFC stickers that you can stick around your house. And a free app to program the stickers. You can put a sticker in your car to automatically open a navigation app. Or you can put a sticker on your bedside table. And program it to turn your phone’s sound off with a tap.


This shows that, seriously, you can put NFC in anything. An NFC-enabled pen is helpful as a business tool; it can serve as a high-tech business card. You could use NFC in a pen, to label what’s yours, in case someone. Likes to steal your pens.

Shopping Poster

This NFC-enabled poster is actually incredible. This shopping poster might appear in a train station or airport, presented by Flous. A digital payment system designed by Etisalat, a UAE telco. If Flous users see something they like, want, or need. They can tap the poster to buy it and have it sent directly to their home. Or held for pickup at the nearest store. Sounds like an excellent idea for forgetful commuters.

NFC Rice Crispies

Yep, as we said, you can put NFC in anything. This NFC-enabled cereal box takes you to Rice Crispies’s recipe website. You tap your phone against it. We guess that’s pretty useful. If you’re in the middle of making Rice Crispies treats, and you forget how much butter you need. You have your phone handy.

NFC Shoes

These shoes have NFC chips built into the sole, near the heel. Tap your phone against the shoe heel, and you’ll get information about the shoe itself. Necessary? Perhaps not. Then again, if you can program your shoe’s NFC chip. What’s the latest news from Nike? Hold on, let me tap my phone against my shoe!

Portable NFC Music

Sony’s SRS-BTV5 ultra-portable wireless speaker uses NFC to connect to your mobile device. It seems more reasonable than headphones. More than one person might connect to a portable speaker, not so much headphones.

Flying NFC Style

Some airlines already let you present your boarding pass on your mobile device’s screen. This NFC-enabled ticket gate takes it to the next level. Assuming this type of technology passes muster with the TSA. Boarding a plane will be a breeze.