In the latest "New Technology" column of Information Outlook, Sophia Guevara explains Near Field Communication (NFC) and discusses its potential uses for information professionals.
If you've seen recent Samsung Galaxy 3 ads (40 seconds in), they portray NFC: move one smartphone within a few centimeters of another (or tap them if you want to really feel the exchange) to transfer data. The data could be a video, an e-mail, files, anything really (that fits within copyright law). The technology also works by pairing a 'tag' with a smartphone. This concept is more similar to accessing data via QR codes, but still easier because if your phone is compatible, it works with the tag, (almost) no questions asked.
The #SLAchat question: how might you use this technology to provide access to information? Here are 3 of Sophia's bright ideas to start:
"Idea 1: Use NFC sticker tags to make "smart" books. If you work in an organization where your colleagues yearn for easy access to book reviews while browsing the library collection, NFC can be your solution. With NFC tags, you can place a sticker tag on the book's cover and program it so that it links to a page of reviews to help your patrons decide if the book is right for them."
"Idea 2: Make "smart" posters. Create a smart poster that can pass along information to employees with a quick tap. All you need to do is affix a preprogrammed tag to an already existing poster and note that the poster is NFC-enabled. Cut down on your organization's silos by creating a poster that provides messages and updates from your organization's leaders and their departments. On their walk into work, employees can tap the tags that are of interest to them and get updates on important things going on within the organization."
"Idea 3: Use NFC in your information literacy training program. For example, if you provide information center orientations to new employees, create a tag with links to the resources you describe. Instead of giving these employees a list of resources and links on paper, give them an NFC tag that contains the resource information within the tag. This is not only an efficient means of sharing information, it also decreases the problem of having training sheets lost or thrown away."