Robert Scoble sums up in the latest Gillmorgang group chat about why he thinks NFC is a technology looking for a problem: “customers don’t care about NFC yet, there’s not a starbu...
“customers don’t care about NFC yet, there’s not a starbucks you can buy things with NFC on your phone yet but they do see that there’s this $100 airplay thing that they can go get for $100 and then go home and play pictures and video and spotify on their TV…
Today it’s easier to say here’s a camera phone app. and put it on a smartphone than include some extra feature in the BOM. Not got a smartphone? Then look to emerging markets where M-Pesa’s already significantly bigger than PayPal (and has never needed NFC).
Of course it makes sense for transit systems
This assumed thinking is flawed but seems to be based on what outsiders observe to be big success stories. Those in the know realise projects like London’s Oyster system have only happened because of the completely uncompetitive and uncontestable markets that they’ve been implemented within. If you know the insider story you realise why it’s not going to work when it comes to consumers with choice and differing brand affinities.
The extra potential for connected smartphones to be terminals rather than just tokens is also limited eg. my Oyster card won’t tell me to take a different route whereas my American Airlines Passbook app will give me directions to a changed time/departure gate etc.