The Saga Continues For NFC and Google – The Foursquare Edition
Tomorrow is going to be a big day for Google – they are having their annual I/O Conference. This is where thousands of developers and engineers get together in San Francisco to discuss all the new and crazy technology that they would like to bring to the table in the near future. The conference center that is holding the event is most probably going to be exploding with brilliance and creativity. It is going to be intense, and I wish I could be there but unfortunately I’m not a developer and I couldn’t get my hands on some tickets which sold out in under an hour.
Anyways, we have seen at past tech events things like Facebook check-ins with RFID badges, and so on, but this event is doing things a little differently – and probably because they are trying to promote NFC (as opposed to QR), like I had mentioned a few weeks ago. Google will be teaming up with Foursquare to enable Foursquare check-ins at the event. There will be posters all over the conference that will be embedded with NFC (near field communication) chips, that you can just walk up to with your phone, tap (not scan like the old school QR Code), and it will check you right in. Not only that, but you will get a Google I/O Foursquare badge and show off to all your friends how cool you are that you got into this conference- and they didn’t. Ha-ha.
I want to mention a few things that are interesting here:
- There aren’t many mobile phones that are equipped with NFC technology (ahem, iPhones). The newer versions of Google-based Androids are. Could this be an incentive for people to want to buy an Android, so that they could have NFC capability? It’s a reach.
- Before Foursquare, there was a similar application called Dodgeball. It was almost the same, except users would text their location to the service and the service would post it instead of the user doing it directly. Google acquired the company in 2005, discontinued it after four years replacing it with Google Latitude. The two founders of the company left Google because they were “frustrated” with their experience, and now work with Foursquare.
- Have you heard of Google Latitude? I’m guessing you probably haven’t. It is a location-based application that also lets you check in at certain places, and you set up a list of numbers that are allowed to see where you are located. Kind of similar to Foursquare, so wouldn’t that be a conflict of interest?
As we can see the lovefest between Google and NFC continues, and they are very optimistic about the future of this new technology. Not only will they be embedding NFC chips (which will be able to read RFID tags, yay!) into all their smartphones, but they are also telling us that there is going to be a lot of related upcoming news during the second half of 2011 regarding NFC. Don’t worry, I will make sure to keep you all posted.