Rating: Anything QR codes can do, NFC does more expensively
In our original story – ‘Nokia positions NFC as the QR code’s nemesis’ here, GoMo News hadn’t fully appreciated the full strengths of the company’s attitude towards NFC. The Finnish mobile phone giant really does view NFC as a complete replacement for QR/2D barcodes. It’s definitely a case of anything a QR code can do, NFC can do better. Except that currently the cost of a single NFC tag is massively more than a single QR code. Say 300 per cent at a rough guess? Nonetheless, the smartphone maker is determined to get a fully functional NFC eco-system up and running (certainly in the UK) via a service called the nfc hub.As we rightly surmised, in order for NFC to work with printed stationary – such as a menu, there has to be an NFC chip embedded into it.
What the nfc hub does, therefore, is provide a range of materials onto which the user’s information can be printed. The list includes A3/A4 posters; stickers; business cards; and tags.
Using an NFC enabled business card, for example, is simplicity itself.
All you have to do is touch the card against an NFC ready handset and the information it contains will be downloaded to the mobile phone.
Just as with QR codes, if the data link is dynamic, then the information sent to your handset will always be current. Even if your job title or telephone number has changed, for instance.
The catch is that adding a QR code to a business card costs absolutely nothing. In the case of a single NFC business card it is £7. So that’s 700 per cent more expensive.
The posters and stickers start from £20 but you can get a tag only for £3. In certain circumstances the pricing can be justified but for many marketing campaigns the cost could easily be prohibitive.
The best aspect to the nfc hub is that the products aren’t confined to Nokia handsets only.
The site admits it is ‘powered by Nokia’ but the NFC enabled stationary will work with handsets supplied by Samsung; BlackBerry/RIM; LG; Motorola; and Sagem.
The nfc hub is a start because the products require virtually no technical knowledge to be used by marketers. An NFC campaign still has to be planned intelligently, though.
It’s no good putting up NFC stickers in your pub – a practice which GoMo News could christen ‘war-tagging’, if the tags don’t point to a mobile-friendly web site.