In the last two posts, we have very much focussed on what NFC brings to the consumer. For business NFC also brings a number of possibilities, in the last post we talked about Advertising and Marketing and while this will be a key element for business, there are some other areas in which NFC has the potential to change the way things are currently done.
One of the key business use cases is likely to be proof of attendance. This can apply to various industries such as Health care, Security and cleaning. Imagine the scenario where a health care worker visits an elderly patient to either perform in house care or to deliver appropriate medication. By having NFC tags in the person’s house it would be possible to touch a tag to:
· Get the persons details – name, medication required
· Verify the date and time the health care worker arrived and left
· Record notes from the mobile device (phone/tablet) which are stored on a central system
Obviously this requires a mobile application and some back end systems integration, but immediately you can see that simply by touching a tag it would be possible to ensure the right medication is administered and also have proof that the visit was made.
For security a similar concept could be adopted where the tag helps prove that a security guard has done the agreed patrol route in the Service Level Agreement by having to tap a tag at various points. Here the backend system would typically store the time and date the check was made, but it would also be possible to configure the system to prompt the guard for actions if there were any incidents such as break ins, for example to take a picture or ring the police.
Another use for security could be that of access control to replace a security tag which opens doors etc. With a lot of companies also providing mobile handsets to their employees, NFC and a mobile application could be used with readers to provide access and replace security tags.
As I mentioned in my first post in this series, NFC technology originally came from RFID. This has been used in many industries (utilities, logistics) for several years for asset tracking and providing easy Machine 2 Machine communication. Its likely NFC could also become key in future smart homes where you touch a tag on your utility meter with your phone and you get an immediate readout on your current gas or electric usage.
Also imagine if your fridge were to scan items as you put them in and again when you take them out. Then by touching a tag on the fridge you get a list of items you have left or have used and you can link the list to your online shopping app and order it straight away.