I appreciate how loads of cool technology is showcased at SXSW each year. Tons of companies use the event to launch their latest cool apps and services… much of this is mobile technology. Companies elect to be there mainly due to the sheer massive volumes of people at the event (keep in mind, many of the attendees are there for film and music and not the technology). Case in point, this year Vizibility will be at the event touting NFC cards and NFC code technology. Now, I can see this technology perhaps being of interest in Europe where NFC technology and scanner enabled smartphones are pervasive, however, here in North America the uptake really is a different story. Case in point, the simple QR code has yet to take off… do you really think that Joe and JoAnne smartphone user are going to be using NFC technology (think scan or tap your device) to read a code? The concept really does actually make sense and indeed it is very useful, however, as of yet, it really isn’t a huge part of how people want to use their smartphones.
I recently asked people on Twitter when they last scanned a QR code. Most of the respondents said they never or rarely scan them, a couple of people have scanned codes displayed on products at retail outlets. And ask yourself, how often do you see people standing around at the mall and scanning codes off the signs that are posted?
QR codes are useful, particularly when it simply isn’t practical to print loads of text. For example, on product packaging, business cards and brochures, supporting marketing materials and TV commercials, and I love them displayed on PowerPoint presentations for added information. Geeks also seem to like adding a code to business cards and you have to admit, slamming a QR code on a T-Shirt is pretty darned cool… I love that use! But NFC cards? Research to date cites that QR technology is slow in uptake due to users simply not know what they are or how to scan them. So how will people respond to NFC codes? Are people even aware if their smartphone is NFC ready or capable?
Enter Visibility. The company is offering 1,000 SXSW attendees a NFC Business cards specifically for use at the event. Where QR codes use a smartphone’s camera to read a special barcode, NFC uses short-range wireless transmission so no scanning is required. Simply touching an NFC-enabled smartphone to an NFC-enabled business card from Vizibility instantly brings up a rich, mobile-optimized microsite for that individual. See details HERE on the Vizibility website