NFC to revolutionise B2C communications

Near-field communication (NFC) could revolutionise British homes, opening a world of opportunity for businesses to interact with their customers, experts claim.

NFC uses chips to enable devices such as washing machines, heating systems and shop tills to communicate wirelessly. When placed in close proximity to one another, NFC-enabled devices can interact, with data transferred between them.

With most smartphones now coming NFC-enabled, the market is growing rapidly. ReportenReports figures suggest the global marketplace would be worth more than £10 billion by 2022.

This could provide a world of opportunity for companies, as many NFC-enabled devices use text messages by way of warning or notification. For example, texts are sent by machines to their owners when a service is needed or if supplies are running low. Soon, machines are also expected to text preferred suppliers or companies on behalf of the owner, to make their lives even easier still.

Such channels of communication would effectively alert suppliers when consumers are in need of products or services, for them to act accordingly.

Steve Owen, from NXP Semiconductors, told of the possibilities: “Machines could be configured to contact their owners, send SMS messages or emails to remind owners to schedule a service, invite them to renew their warranties, or offer personalised recommendations and discounts.

“We’re not far away from seeing NFC revolutionise homes and devices – driving an easier, more integrated and connected lifestyle for everyone. Over the next few years we will begin to see this technology being embedded throughout the home.”