Does NFC Marketing Miss Apple ?

NFC Marketing is on hold. That’s the general opinion of most industry watchers. Let’s consider whether the argument is justified.

NFC Marketing Campaigns
It’s often been said that the real benefit of running and NFC marketing campaign at the moment is more from getting the PR associated with running it rather than the direct benefit.

Some of the earlier integrated campaigns such BMW’s magazine advertising were really nothing more than a gimmick. The ‘novelty’ effect being the main purpose.

There’s a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, the consumers awareness of NFC outside payments (and arguably even within payments) is almost not existent. There just haven’t been that many campaigns. The campaigns that have run haven’t been consistent with branding or instruction. In Europe, aside from a few bus stops, there’s just not enough going on to raise awareness.

Clearly, this is chicken and the egg. You can’t raise awareness without running campaigns but you can’t run campaigns because there’s no awareness. And which advertiser is going to spend money unless there’s results either directly from the response or via the associated PR.

The second reason is that many of the campaigns that have run aren’t suitable. Let’s be honest – are you going to stand at a bus stop waving your phone in front of a billboard ? NFC isn’t going to work like that and when advertisers don’t get a response, they write off the whole medium.

The Apple Effect
And then there’s the Apple effect. This is how it works. An NFC marketing company, outdoor ad network or similar walks into an ad agency. They make a presentation that NFC is this great technology that can connect a physical space or object seamlessly to the internet. An Android phone is used to do a demonstration and all the ad agency people are amazed. It’s magic.

Then they want to have a go themselves, get out their brand new iPhones to test and suddenly discover the problem.

The problem here is not so much that NFC doesn’t work with the iPhone. The problem is that you have to explain to iPhone users that NFC isn’t going to work. NFC is designed to create a positive brand awareness and if the user is standing (or sitting) there waving their phone and there isn’t a response, you get a negative brand experience. The net effect is worse than doing the campaign at all. The option of explaining who can and who can’t use the NFC experience would take more ad space than any creative director is going to accept and who’d pay attention to it anyway ?

So the ad agency consider that up to 40% of their US market and say 20-30% of their European market can’t scan or will get a negative experience and that’s the end of that. Or is it ?

Market Segmentation
Back in 1984, Apple was the brand that you bought into if you wanted to stand up against the corporate monster. Around that time, that was IBM and Microsoft. Now, of course, Apple would like you to think it’s Google.

But that’s not really the case – particularly with mobile phones. Apple is no longer the edgy brand, the outsider trying to fight against the industry standard. A large part of this is reflected in the price of the product which has moved from aspirational to simply expensive.

Within the all important Millennials age group (18-35), split on Android vs. iPhone usage is roughly 50/50. However, within certain defined market segments, Android is becoming the OS of choice (albeit by default). For example, data from CivicScience reported on Forbes suggests a substantial 50% uplift in Android usage among techies. It also defines a lift for Android within drinkers, which would certainly play into the hands of Malibu’s recent NFC campaign !

The Reality
Ultimately, the reality at the moment is that reaching those defined sectors where Android (or Samsung) is the preferred choice isn’t easy. The likelihood is that in the next year or so we aren’t going to see any significant NFC advertising campaigns. We would also argue that unless the segmentation between Android and iPhone users becomes more defined, that NFC marketing is going to remain a highly niche option.

NFC tag ideas

OPPIOT have a virtually unlimited number of uses. As more and more NFC related apps are being developed, the potential uses for NFC tags continue to surge. All of these features will use NFC related applications, usually found for free. Here are our favourite NFC tag ideas:

In the car
Activate bluetooth and connect your device to your vehicle in seconds. Need some traffic information? Need to navigate a specific route? You can do all that and so much more with the simple tap of an NFC tag!

On your bedside
Automatically have your phone turn off vibration mode, dim screen brightness, turn off your LED indicator, stop notifications and turn on an alarm with a single tap.
Make sure your children are safe

NFC tags can be set to automatically send prewritten text messages. This can be useful if you’d like to keep an eye on children traveling to and from school. With a simple tap, an NFC tag can let you know that your children have gotten home safely.

At home
If you’re like most people, you tend to use your smartphone a little differently at home. NFC tags allow you to create a home profile with your favourite setting adjustments. Leave an NFC tag near the entrance of your home and automatically enable WiFi, turn down your system volume and reduce screen brightness as you walk in.

Control your entertainment hub
This is another cool use that we’ve grown to love. It’s possible to set your NFC tag to automatically control your Chrome Cast device. Load up your favourite weather or news website on your TV with the simple tap of an NFC tag! Or command an NFC tag to automatically open up the Netflix app!

When it’s time to focus
Need some time to study? Or maybe you’re trying to put in 100% at the gym and don’t want any external distractions. Turn off notifications, vibrations and your LED indicator in one shot with just a simple tap and rid yourself of all smartphone distractions!

Share your contact information
Store your contact information on our high capacity NFC tags and effortlessly exchange them with people you meet. Your details can be instantly transferred to your new contacts device with just a single tap. An excellent way to leave a great impression and eliminate the risk of typos!

In the kitchen
Cooking something? You can adjust your settings profile with a single tap. Increase your notification and call volume with a single tap. You can even set a predetermined timer or access a recipe with a single tap!

Enable tethering on the go
Set an NFC tag to automatically enable and disable tethering when you’re on the go. One tap and you’re up and running!

Automatic checkins on Facebook and Foursquare
Automatically check into Facebook and Foursquare with an NFC tag. This is fantastic for businesses handing out promotional material and even with regular consumers looking to automate their check ins!

Remotely turning on your computer
This is a pretty cool idea that we’ve come to adopt ourselves. While it involves a little bit of tinkering, it’s a time saver and just down right awesome. Place an NFC tag near the entrance of your house and have your computer boot up with just a simple tap. You can find the full instructions on how to do this here.
Give your guests access to your WiFi without revealing your password

Grant your friends access to your WiFi network with a simple tap. There’s no need to go through the process of setting up the network connection and entering your password into the settings tab on your phone.

Organise your garage, basement or storage room
Hunting for a specific item in a garage filled to the roof with boxes can be a daunting task. NFC tags can make this process a little simpler. Make a list of all the items present in a particular box, store this list in an NFC tag and stick the tag to the box. Next time you go to the garage to find a specific item, tap on the tag and you will have a list of all the contents of the box, without even opening it!

NFC in stores
NFC tags are being used more and more in retail environments. Got a product that you’re selling? Use an NFC tag to allow the customer to view more information with a simple tap or direct them to your website

Send people to predetermined links
Got a website you’re looking to promote? Write your website URL onto an NFC tag and hand it out to prospective visitors. A pretty cool and memorable way to spread the word about your website which will almost certainly result in the prospective visitor holding onto the NFC tag!

Automate timesheets
Freelancers and businesses will love this one. Many freelancers already know that using the TimeSheet app is a great way to organise and keep track of their time.The use of NFC tags takes the experience to a whole new level. TimeSheet users can assign NFC tags for each of their projects and arrange them at their workplace as per their convenience. So if you are a TimeSheet user, the next time you want to start the clock on some project, just place your phone on the corresponding NFC tag and start logging your work!

What are NFC Tags?

NFC tags are awesome. Without getting too geeky, NFC tags basically interact with your NFC-enabled smartphone and tell it to do things. All you need to do is tap your device against the NFC tag and voila!

For example, you might keep an NFC tag in your car. By tapping your NFC-enabled smartphone against it, the NFC tag might automatically open Google maps and turn up the screen brightness and volume on your phone. Or if you’re a business, you might allow employees to tap an NFC tag to check into work, as opposed to a clunky timesheet system.

Most NFC tags can be told what to do by any NFC-enabled smartphone. All you need to do is download an NFC writing app, place your phone on top of the tag and choose what functions you’d like activated. Once set, the NFC tag will remember these instructions for next time. It’s really that simple!

So what can I do with NFC tags?
Because you’re able to program your own NFC tags with a free downloaded app, the possibilities are endless. There are hundreds of possible command combinations and this is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve put together a quick list of our favourite uses here.

Why not stick to QR codes?
QR codes require you to open an app on your phone, point the camera at the QR code and scan the QR code. You then need to wait for the app to perform the programmed function. NFC tags simplify this process by allowing you to activate the command that’s been programmed into the NFC tag by simply tapping your NFC-enabled smartphone against it. Just make sure that the screen on your phone is unlocked and you’re good to go. No need to open an application and no need to worry about lining up the camera with any sort of code!

Using NFC Tags For Object Authentication

Most of the noise surrounding NFC has been about contactless payments. One of the big discussions within the NFC industry is what the real ‘killer app’ for NFC is outside payments. Might the focus now start to fall on nfc authentication and nfc identification ?

NFC Marketing
It’s generally accepted that NFC marketing isn’t likely to happen in any substantial way until Apple’s iPhone supports the scanning of NFC tags. And it’s not clear that this is going to happen in the near future. Indeed, it’s not clear whether it will happen at all. However, NFC tag scanning is built into every other smartphone now and because of it’s now standardized use in payments, it’s not likely to be removed in the short-medium term.

It could be argued that Apple have looked at the use cases for scanning NFC tags and come to the conclusion that it’s limited. Limited to the extent that it’s not going to convince many people to buy – or not buy – a phone because of this.

Growth Areas
So let’s look at the big non-payment mobile NFC spaces : ticketing, marketing, product/object/person identification and product/object authentication.

Ticketing is a no brainer as it’s really just an extension of payments. To an extent, it’s a replacement of technologies such as QR codes. The technology is active to active (no passive NFC tag) and there’s no question it will be a substantial market as replacing paper tickets with mobiles is clearly the way to go.

However, there are difficulties. For example, how you provide for people that can’t or don’t want to use their mobile. Replacing paper tickets with electronic tickets for those people is expensive. There’s also some debate about how efficient it is. Anyone who’s stood behind someone attempting to pay with their mobile phone will know what we mean. A queue of people attempting to get their phones ready for an NFC tap is not going to be fun. Taking the phone out of this and using smart tickets is an option. They are more difficult to fake and quicker at the gate. But the costs rarely make sense particularly as print-your-own tickets is so cheap. However, for options such as transport (rail, airlines, buses, etc) then most people expect to see some slow but steady progress.

Marketing we’ve already looked at. We would argue that NFC marketing isn’t likely to take off until Apple allow tag scanning. Until then, it’s likely that we’ll see the odd marketing campaign as a ‘trial’ but little more.

Object Identification
Object identification and object authentication is where it starts to get interesting. Clearly, QR Codes are the leader here primarily because of cost. ‘Scan for more information’ or ‘scan for the user manual’ allow easy access to important information. However, QR Codes are seldom seen on FMCG goods or food packaging etc. Many industry watchers consider this to be a substantial NFC growth market – perhaps _the_ substantial growth market for mobile NFC outside payments/ticketing. We’d agree.

NFC has a number of benefits when used for object/product identification/authentication. It’s user friendly, seamless and reliable. Adding tags directly into products either so end users can quickly scan can be very effective. Additionally, tags can also be hidden inside products to be scanned only by those who know they are there. NFC authentication ranges from cheap and easy (such as a simple encoded ID linking to a web page or an App reading the chip UID) to cheap and reliable (such as reading the chip UID, checking the tag is genuine). Tags can be linked to marketing as well as checking the product details and/or authenticity can give a reason for a user to scan the tag and enables the manufacturer to connect with a customer post-purchase.

NFC Authentication
Product NFC authentication has anti-counterfeit benefits, user contact benefits, customer support benefits and relative to most product costs adds very little. Are we likely to see NFC tags on FMCG goods in the near future ? Not likely, but there’s a whole range of other products that would benefit.

Using NFC Tags For Object Authentication

Most of the noise surrounding NFC has been about contactless payments. One of the big discussions within the NFC industry is what the real ‘killer app’ for NFC is outside payments. Might the focus now start to fall on nfc authentication and nfc identification ?

NFC Marketing
It’s generally accepted that NFC marketing isn’t likely to happen in any substantial way until Apple’s iPhone supports the scanning of NFC tags. And it’s not clear that this is going to happen in the near future. Indeed, it’s not clear whether it will happen at all. However, NFC tag scanning is built into every other smartphone now and because of it’s now standardized use in payments, it’s not likely to be removed in the short-medium term.

It could be argued that Apple have looked at the use cases for scanning NFC tags and come to the conclusion that it’s limited. Limited to the extent that it’s not going to convince many people to buy – or not buy – a phone because of this.

Growth Areas
So let’s look at the big non-payment mobile NFC spaces : ticketing, marketing, product/object/person identification and product/object authentication.

Ticketing is a no brainer as it’s really just an extension of payments. To an extent, it’s a replacement of technologies such as QR codes. The technology is active to active (no passive NFC tag) and there’s no question it will be a substantial market as replacing paper tickets with mobiles is clearly the way to go.

However, there are difficulties. For example, how you provide for people that can’t or don’t want to use their mobile. Replacing paper tickets with electronic tickets for those people is expensive. There’s also some debate about how efficient it is. Anyone who’s stood behind someone attempting to pay with their mobile phone will know what we mean. A queue of people attempting to get their phones ready for an NFC tap is not going to be fun. Taking the phone out of this and using smart tickets is an option. They are more difficult to fake and quicker at the gate. But the costs rarely make sense particularly as print-your-own tickets is so cheap. However, for options such as transport (rail, airlines, buses, etc) then most people expect to see some slow but steady progress.

Marketing we’ve already looked at. We would argue that NFC marketing isn’t likely to take off until Apple allow tag scanning. Until then, it’s likely that we’ll see the odd marketing campaign as a ‘trial’ but little more.

Object Identification
Object identification and object authentication is where it starts to get interesting. Clearly, QR Codes are the leader here primarily because of cost. ‘Scan for more information’ or ‘scan for the user manual’ allow easy access to important information. However, QR Codes are seldom seen on FMCG goods or food packaging etc. Many industry watchers consider this to be a substantial NFC growth market – perhaps _the_ substantial growth market for mobile NFC outside payments/ticketing. We’d agree.

NFC has a number of benefits when used for object/product identification/authentication. It’s user friendly, seamless and reliable. Adding tags directly into products either so end users can quickly scan can be very effective. Additionally, tags can also be hidden inside products to be scanned only by those who know they are there. NFC authentication ranges from cheap and easy (such as a simple encoded ID linking to a web page or an App reading the chip UID) to cheap and reliable (such as reading the chip UID, checking the tag is genuine). Tags can be linked to marketing as well as checking the product details and/or authenticity can give a reason for a user to scan the tag and enables the manufacturer to connect with a customer post-purchase.

NFC Authentication
Product NFC authentication has anti-counterfeit benefits, user contact benefits, customer support benefits and relative to most product costs adds very little. Are we likely to see NFC tags on FMCG goods in the near future ? Not likely, but there’s a whole range of other products that would benefit.

How many bytes can a NFC tag store?

A standard ‘Ultralight’ chip NFC tag can store a URL of around 41 characters, whereas the newer NTAG213 chip nfc tag can store a URL of around 132 characters. There are 4 NFC types as below :

NFC Type 1 tags
Type 1 tags have 96 bytes of memory, enough for a URL or a small amount of data. The tag’s memory can expand to a larger size as needed. The low price makes type 1 tags to ideal choice for most near field communication(NFC) needs.

NFC Type 2 tags
NFC Type 2 tags start at 48 bytes of memory. it also have data collision protection and can be rewriteable or read-only .

NFC Type 3 tags
NFC tag type 3 has larger memory and faster speeds than tag types 1 and 2. This tag is part of the FeliCa system. The bigger size lets it hold more complex codes beyond URLs, but it costs more to create each tag.

NFC Type 4 tags
The NFC Type 4 tags holds 32 Kbytes in memory and has faster speeds than the other tags.can use either NFC-A or NFC-B communication and have data collision protection.

Usually, all information is stored in a specific data format (NDEF – NFC data exchange format) so that it can be reliably read by most devices and mobile phones.

Please kindly drop a email to info@oprfid.com for cusome your NFC tags .

The NFC Tag Types

In addition to the signaling technologies used by near field communication technology,including NFC TAG Type 1, type 2 nfc tag,NFC TAG Type 3,NFC TAG Type 4 exist. Tag types refer to the speed and compatibility between an NFC tag and NFC readers, and the roles define how active and passive devices respond during a NFC communication. Most often a URL will be embedded in a NFC tag. URLs take up only a small amount of memory, lowering the production cost of the NFC tags since many are placed on posters or other items that are thrown away later on. NFC tags can, however, hold nearly any type of information, though more memory costs more money.

NFC Tags let you perform various kinds of information-related tasks. For example, you can use a tag to store information on various topics at a kiosk. Each tag has specific functionality that lets you use the tag for particular tasks. NFC currently works with the following four tag types:

NFC TAG Type 1:
The NFC Type 1 tag is the simplest of the offerings. It’s also the slowest chip, but because of the simplicity it offers, you can stuff more memory on this chip. Because these tags are simple, they also tend to be inexpensive, but they can lack functionality you might need for some applications.Type 1 NFC tags have data collision protection and can be set to either read and rewrite capable or read-only. Read-only programming prevents the information from being changed or written over once embedded in the tag. Type 1 tags have 96 bytes of memory, enough for a URL or a small amount of data. The tag’s memory can expand to a larger size as needed. The low price makes type 1 tags to ideal choice for most near field communication needs.

The typically Application :tags used for the following types of applications:
One time provisioning
Read-only applications
Business cards
Pairing devices with Bluetooth
Reading a specific tag when more than one tag is present

NFC TAG Type 2:
Type 2 NFC tags also have data collision protection and can be rewriteable or read-only. They start at 48 bytes of memory, half of what the type 1 tags can hold, but can expand to be as large as a type 1 tag. Communication speeds are the same for tag types 1 and 2.
The Type 2 tag tends to be the most popular offering because it provides just enough functionality at the right price to meet a wide range of needs. The Type 2 tag is also faster than the Type 1 tag, so you can rely on it for applications in which a user expects nearly instant communication. You typically see these tags used The typically Application:
Low-value transactions
Day transit passes
Event tickets
URL redirects

NFC TAG Type 3:
Also equipped with data collision protection, NFC tag type 3 has larger memory and faster speeds than tag types 1 and 2. This tag is part of the FeliCa system. The bigger size lets it hold more complex codes beyond URLs, but it costs more to create each tag.The Type 3 tag relies on a different standard than the other tags in this group. The Sony FeliCa tag is a Japanese innovation and sees wide use in Asia. This is a sophisticated tag that provides a wide range of functionality but also comes with a relatively high price tagtypes of applications:
typically Application:

Transit tickets
e-money
Electronic ID
Membership cards
e-tickets
Health care devices
Home electronics

NFC TAG Type 4:
Type 4 NFC tags can use either NFC-A or NFC-B communication and have data collision protection. The tag is set as either rewritable or read-only when manufactured and this setting cannot be changed by the user, unlike the other NFC tags which can be altered at a later date. The tag holds 32 Kbytes in memory and has faster speeds than the other tags.
In addition to the four tag types, four modes of operation exist. The modes – reader/writer, card, initiator, and target – describe what role a device or tag is playing in an NFC transaction. Devices can switch between more than one role depending on the transaction being processed. The Type 4 tag offers the most flexibility and memory of all the tags. It comes with a moderate to high price tag, depending on the amount of memory you get. The most important reason to get this tag is security: It offers the functionality needed to perform true authentication. In addition, this is the only tag that provides support for ISO 7816 security. It also allows for self-modification of NDEF content. Given the extra capability that this tag provides, you typically see it used for transit ticket applications.

one sector looking for growth influences NFC space

In many places, including Ireland, one sector looking for growth influences NFC space. New NFC-enabled debit cards are already being issued once the hardware is available in retail units, these could get to be the primary way of purchasing smaller value items, typically as much as %u20AC15. It is a new technology for small retail businesses but is at their favour as it will decrease the costs of handling cash and really should also increase payments at checkouts. Authentication is generally not essential this also accelerates the payment process. For that reason this technology might be a popular mobile payments model. However, just how well it takes off will likely depend upon the charging model. Consumers covers convenience but also in cash-strapped economic downturn, when the charge is just too high cash it is king.
Many small businesses have traditionally found the overheads of taking card payments prohibitive however, this model provides them entry to card payments and this will have a significant positive effect on their flow. The opportunity to take card payments in any location removes the attachment to customers having cash or cheques. What’s more, it removes the overhead in following up on unpaid invoices, itself a pricey exercise for most small businesses.

Do environmental factors effect rfid tag functionality?

Do environmental factors effect rfid tag functionality?

While choosing an RFID tag the first requirement is frequency. The frequency of the tags should be matched with the corresponding RFID reader for the proper functioning. Every RFID system works on particular frequency band of low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF), ultra-high frequency (UHF) or microwave frequency. In general, with the increase in frequency range, the reading distance and rate of data processing also increase.

For the reliable functioning it is important to deploy a tag according to its environment conditions. The housing material used for construction of tags depends upon an application. If a tag is used for book tracking in libraries, the paper or plastic is used and for harsh environment the material will be different. Under the various environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, chemical impact, sand, water, dirt etc., a tag requires the suitable IP rates for protection. For indoor applications the IP65 or less are suitable and while selecting a tag for outdoor applications the IP67 or above is best.

What are the RFID tag classes or standards?

What are the RFID tag classes or standards?
The original tag classes were first developed by the MIT Auto-ID Center. The oldest class 0 and 1 later passed onto EPCglobal as a basis to create the newer standard of EPC Gen 2, the full definitions of the remaining newer classes are still under development. Below shows a brief description on each available class currently:

Class 0 Generation 1, factory preprogrammed read-only passive tag
Class 1 Generation 1 and 2, Read-only passive tag similar to class 0 and has one-time field programmability
Class 2 Passive tag with read-write capability
Class 3 Semi-passive tag with read-write memory, onboard sensor and an incorporated battery to provide increased coverage.
Class 4 Read-write active tag with integrated transmitter for communication using the battery onboard.
Class 5 Class 4 tags that provide additional circuitry to communicate with or provide power to other tags.