Feeds

You thought NFC tags were Not For Consumers? Well, they're in Maplin's

If anyone knows what they're for, it's High Street Geek Dad

The essential guide to IT transformation

High street retailer Maplin will be stocking NFC tags, surely demonstrating that the technology is mainstream even if no one is quite sure what it's for.

The tags, which  come from RapidNFC, are supplied in packs of twelve which retail at £9.99. That's a £1.70 premium on the manufacturers price of £8.29 but the manufacturer doesn't have a high street presence: so one is paying for convenience as well as the technology. It's for when one just wants some NFC tags right now.

Just what would drive such a requirement is far from obvious, however. RapidNFC is best known for embedding tags into beer mats and other equally innovative concepts. Near Field Communications can do many wonderful things: pay-by-bonk, Bluetooth pairing, electronic ticketing and identifying Disney figurines, to name just a few. Nonetheless the killer application remains elusive - as demonstrated by Apple's ongoing disdain for the technology.

Maplin does make some attempt to justify the product, pointing out that it's compatible with most modern smartphones (iPhone excluded) and that free  applications are available for programming and using tags. Those applications generally launch specific profiles, such as switching to nighttime mode when placed on the (tagged) nightstand, or trigger an action using the browser or similar. Some of this is useful, but none of it seems likely to make anyone rush out to buy an NFC phone. Or, in most cases, buy any tags.

Even so the introduction of NFC to Maplin is what advocates have dreamed of. The argument for NFC has been that hackers and hobbyists will find uses for it once it is in their hands, and as those demographics definitely intersect with Maplin's customer base that day has surely arrived.

Now we have to wait and see what they can come up with. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
EE plonks 4G in UK Prime Minister's backyard
OK, his constituency. Brace yourself for EXTRA #selfies
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.