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Near Field Communications. What?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 by cyberacoustics

For years, tech companies have demoed flashy prototypes of systems that let customers use their mobile phones in place of cash/credit cards or to gather other information. This year, those systems are heading out of the labs and into the real world. That's Near Field Communications (NFC). 

Starbucks is now using NFC technology to allow customers to scan their latte and deduct the payment from their pre-loaded Starbucks card. No more digging for cash or a credit card. Splitting the dinner bill with a friend? Download the app Bump, and you'll be able to beam over the cash from your PayPal account. Using something like NFC, I'll finally know how much money I'm spending at Starbucks every month. Oh yeah, I don't drink coffee. Never mind. 

By now, you hopefully know what a QR code is. Haven't heard of that one either? Well, you might have seen these codes popping up on packaging, signs, promotional materials, and other advertisement items. They look like this: 


A QR code is a specific matrix barcode, readable by QR barcode readers, such as a camera phone. All you need is a simple app to read the code. For example, ShopSavvy is one of the best scanning applications out there. You have to check this out if you haven't already done so. 

If you need an incentive to try out ShopSavvy, then we've got one for you. The first reader to email us and tell us what web destination the above QR code sends you to will win a prize. 

QR codes were being used extensively at CES. They allowed attendees to gain more information on the products being showcased. Soon, you're going to start to see these codes everywhere. Be on the look out, and have fun scanning. 

- Steve Murphy - CFO, Cyber Acoustics

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