For most of the paying public, going to see the latest James Bond movie ‘Skyfall’ is laden with expectation of action car chases, fights on the wings of aeroplanes - and of course gadgets!
And, for me, it’s the gadgets that get me every time. But for this film I have a professional interest because James Bond will be using an NFC-enabled mobile in the form of the new Sony Xperia T. Hurrah!
I must admit that product placement in blockbusters tends to annoy me a little, but when I settled down in my seat for Skyfall I wasn’t on the look out for the Rolex or the Aston Martin, it was the Sony Xperia T in its full NFC glory. I had spent too much
time speculating how 007 might use it. Maybe he’d pay for a Martini at Geneva Airport by tapping his mobile on a payment terminal? Or maybe he’d download a file on a target from a bus shelter poster in Berlin? But with a heavy heart I have to report (plot
spoiler alert) that he didn’t use NFC at all. I think Sony/007 might have missed a trick there.
But we don’t all have to be James Bond to own an NFC phone. In fact, I wager that most of us who have changed our smart phone in the last 9 months now have an NFC-enabled device and we don’t even know it. That’s because firstly, there has been little or
no consumer advertising about NFC functionality on phones with the exceptions of Sony with its Xperia S and Samsung with its Galaxy SIII. Secondly, because when our R&D team at Proxama tested all the latest NFC-enabled smart phones, we found that in the vast
majority of cases the NFC functionality was switched off. Madness! How are we going to get people interested in the benefits of NFC unless we actually let them know it’s on their phones?
It does seem that Sony is pretty much on it’s own in trailblazing NFC as a feature of its smart phones, so hats off to them. But we need the rest of the mobile industry to throw their hats into the ring and do a bit of promotion about the fact that they
are shipping phones with NFC in them. It’s not as if they’re Apple, who have been shaken but not stirred by the thought of this new technology (sorry!), yet have consistently resisted putting NFC on their iPhones. For instance, the new Motorola Razr phones
actually have NFC, but they don’t state this anywhere!
I think the odds that NFC will be a mainstream technology in a couple of years are much better than Mr Bond stacking his chips on red 36 at the roulette table. So come on all you manufacturers, you obviously believe in NFC because you have built it into
your phones – it’s about time you started giving it some airtime.