NFC-Enabled Insights Powering Personalised Experiences

Big brands are looking to asset identification and authentication technology to deliver unique and highly-personalised customer experiences – in real time. The technology that is most often at the heart of these applications is near-field communication, aka NFC. NFC is a method of transferring data wirelessly between devices that are in close proximity to each other without requiring an internet connection. Chances are you have probably already come into contact with NFC via applications like Android Pay and Apple Pay which allow you to pay for goods from your mobile device.

However, beyond the world of contactless payments, NFC applications are predicted to explode world-wide as the technology becomes more ubiquitous. It is estimated that by 2020, there will be more than 2 billion NFC-enabled mobile devices in use – almost a quarter of the world’s population – and another 36 billion IoT devices – four for every person on the planet.

One of the strongest value propositions of NFC is its ability to embed intelligence, and give us insights from, unpowered, unconnected objects. A presentation given by the NFC Forum organisation at this year’s RFID Journal LIVE conference touched on some of these innovative projects. So let’s take a look at some of the ways NFC is powering customised, tailor-made experiences with a simple, single tap.

Start Your Engines

Mercedes is making it possible for drivers start their Mercedes-Benz E-Class vehicle with a NFC digital key. The application is part of ‘Mercedes me’ which includes a range of connected digital services such as the ability to lock, unlock, control temperature remotely via a mobile app. Drivers can hold their smartphone against the door handle to unlock it. Once inside, they simply place their phone in the charging tray and press the ignition button. These functions are still possible even when the phone battery is drained, so the need to carry a conventional car key is eliminated.

Nail Art UV Sensor To Protect Against Skin Cancer

Whilst L’Oreal is not a name you’d normally associate with the wireless technology, it has demonstrated a small, smart, connected device, designed for your thumbnail, which monitors your time in the sun. The product – UV sense – is a battery-free sensor that can store an incredible three months’ worth of personal data. To access your data you simply tap your NFC-enabled iOS or Android device on your thumbnail. The app will then display your time in the sun, calculate your risks to ultraviolet exposure, and suggest better habits, including when to get out of the sun and the best time to reapply lotion so you can reduce your skin cancer risk.

NFC-enabled NBA Jerseys Deliver Exclusive Fan Content

Sports fashion brand Nike is also getting into the technology game with NFC-enabled NBA connected jerseys. The system – NikeConnect – embeds an NFC tag in the jersey and enables wearers to unlock premium content via an app on their iOS or Android mobile device such as pre-game arrival footage, highlight reels, player stats, athlete music playlists, special offers, and for even exclusive NBA2K18 gaming boosts.

Brand Protection For Designer Handbags

High-end Aki Choklat handbags are now sold with integrated NFC technology. The primary objective is to provide customers with proof the bag is authentic and not an inferior copy. However, it is also designed to increase brand engagement through personalisation. With the Aki Choklat app, handbag owners can create content around the bags – a travel diary, share details regarding the bag’s features with other owners, transfer the ownership of the bag to another person, or report it missing or stolen.

Smart Men’s Shirts

Swedish clothing designer, Four Levent, has launched a new line of men’s shirts with wearable technology using embedded NFC laundry tags. The NFC tags are durable, waterproof and easily applied to the shirts. Tags come pre-loaded with a link to and can be personalised to reflect the customer’s desires. What is more, each NFC tag also comes pre-loaded with a generous discount; just tap the shirt cuff with an NFC-enabled phone to access the offer.

Seamless Rail Journey’s In Japan

As Tokyo prepares to host the Olympics in 2020 and works towards the goal to doubling the number of overseas tourists to 40 million annually, it is investing in ways to make rail transportation easier and more efficient. JR East has recently turned to NFC technology with its Mobile Suica (its name stands for “super intelligent urban card”) system that works with NFC-enabled Android and iOS mobile devices for fast and easy cashless ticket payments.

Wellness Workout Clothing

Samsung has prototyped workout gear that is embedded with an NFC chip – The Body Compass – which comes with a mobile app that delivers real-time biometric analysis of your gym sessions, even advising you of correct form or not. The feedback from the app is only provided to phones but there are hopes that sending the information through to smart watches will soon be feasible. Hopefully v3.0 will also be machine washable in the future because currently v2.0 is not!

Italian Apparel Maker Integrates RFID, NFC, QR Codes

Italian apparel manufacturer and lifestyle brand, Moncler, has come up with an innovative way to tackle a number of issues in a single, smart solution by combining RFID, NFC and QR codes. Each technology serves a specific purpose: RFID for item-level tracking and greater visibility through supply-chains, warehouses and physical stores, QR codes so consumers can quickly access the Moncler website and download the mobile app, and NFC so that consumers can confirm the authenticity of the product via the app.

NFC and auto-identification technology are paving the way for brands to engage with consumers directly, build stronger relationships, increase customer stickiness and protect their brands. If you have idea or need for an NFC-enabled application, please reach out to us on +61 (0)2 9998 9000 or Our proprietary enterprise asset intelligence platform and secure item serialisation technology will work with any asset identification technology – RFID, NFC, BLE – as well as multiple technologies at once. We will bring our vendor-neutral asset tagging advice and extensive industry experience to your smart, connected business application today.