NFC at the Museum

This article is about a piece I read about near field communication at the museum, but it’s about more than that. It’s about what NFC can do to enhance the real world… which is where I see the value to you and me… as opposed to what it can do for businesses… which is where the value is for a small percentage of us. 

In a nutshell, this article describes how the Museum of London is using NFC to enhance their exhibits. Rather than posting larger than necessary posters describing what each piece is, they have opted to enable each poster with an NFC chip. This chip will bring their guests to other websites, videos, pictures, etc, and allow them to have a fuller understanding of exactly what it is they are looking. There are even ways of interacting with different exhibits using NFC. 

That’s a nice story, and kind of how I would expect NFC to progress over the years. It really is nice to see technology enhancing a museum experience through active participation rather than simply by making an action easier to complete, and so it gets my enthusiastic thumbs up. But what does this mean for those other 300 days a year you aren’t a museum (and I know, at least for me, saying I am at a museum 5 days a year is a bit of a stretch)?

Maybe the best way to say this is through a short bit about myself. I have always dreamed of writing a fiction book. Sure, with my resume I could probably write a book on modern technology and sell a dozen copies or so, but to have a piece of fiction published would be a dream come true because it has less to do with resume and more to do with talent as a writer. I have come to the realization, however, that in the very near future, writing a book might simply not be enough. I cannot believe that there are not books yet which merge digital media and text media, given the amount of people who own ereaders. Imagine a book that also incorporated video. It’s obviously something people would go nuts over. Just incorporating a dramatic piece of video into an already dramatic work seems like a no-brainer. 

I relay that idea because it illustrates my point here. As much as I love books (and I spent 5 years studying them through college and own hundreds) but the technology is quickly becoming outdated, only more so if people would write for ereaders. Books are not becoming outdated because of the convenience of the ereader, but because books will soon be able to be enhanced by ereaders, and then everyone will have one. 

This use of NFC in the museum is just a harbinger of things to come… things about which I am very excited. Making paying for that latte easier is good and all, but it enhances nothing. Any technology that is capable of actually enhancing life, however, that’s something I can get behind. 

Hey, I should write a book about that.

NFC at the Museum

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