iOS11 launch – iPhone users can finally enjoy the benefits of NFC!

Apple opens iPhone to NFC

Following Apple’s announcement back in June regarding the release of iOS11, the date has finally arrived. The mobile update brings a swathe of new features and will be available on the 19th of September.

Most exciting for us is that with this new update iPhones 7 and above will be able to read NFC tags. Until now, Apple had decided to strictly limit the embedded NFC function to Apple Pay. Finally, iPhone users will be able to enjoy all the benefits NFC or Near Field Communication can bring (although you will have to upgrade if you have an iPhone 6 or 6S).

How NFC technology can enrich daily lives..

In short, NFC enables improved customer experiences. In practice, you can use it in every aspect of your life. Here are a few examples…

  • Checking your bus or tram schedule and paying your fare
  • Track your fitness and health stats at the gym
  • Get special offers, VIP event invitations, access to loyalty schemes
  • Authenticate your new product and check it’s not a fake
  • Control the equipment around your house (lights, multi-media devices, heating..)
  • Enjoy a more meaningful experience at museums, festivals and concerts.

Soon, you will be able to check in online and have your hotel key uploaded to your phone or even wear NFC-enabled smart clothing. We could go on…the applications are endless.

Will NFC technology actually “take off”?

Apple’s initiative does not mean that we are suddenly going to see mass market adoption. However, it means that most people of the planet who own a smartphone – that’s over 2 billion or almost 1/3rd of the population of earth – now have a NFC reader on their phone. It also opens up the North American market which has been slow in its adoption of NFC tags due to the iPhone’s high penetration in this market in comparison to android, which is more popular in Europe and Asia.

It is difficult right now to estimate the impact of Apple’s role in the future of NFC. At the end of the day, people could have the technology and not use it, but it is still a huge step forward. Companies that, until now, were shying away from using NFC tags because it alienated their customers equipped with an iPhone, will also review their approach and start using NFC tags.

NFC is about to revolutionise the way we interact with objects. If you would like to give your customers an improved experience or if you need to protect your products and your brand from counterfeiting, NFC tags might be just what you need.

Contact us and we will be happy to discuss your project and find the solution that’s right for you.