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

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.