- Written by Nathan Drake
If there was ever a good example of the fact that there always needs to be a benefit for both the business and the consumer for a new technology to work, the way real estate is using NFC in the article linked to in this post is it. After reading this article, I was actually encouraged as to how near field communication can be used in the future.
What has always concerned me about NFC is the degree to which our transactions will be tracked by the companies from which we are buying. What also concerns me, maybe even more than that, is how our buying histories will be tracked by other companies as well. While I love technology, while I make my living on the fact that other people love it as much as I do, I have always enjoyed the idea that there was a way out of it if you were willing to go without. This is not to say that NFC does away with that option, only that it is another step toward everything being digital, toward the ability to drop off the map being a thing of the past. Being tracked, though, is something that exists now on the Internet and is frankly just something I’m going to have to get used to. What I look for, then, is payment back for so generously offering up to any and all authorized interested parties my information.
The thing we have to understand as consumers, however, is that companies gathering information on the people who are interested in their products is nothing new, and that it actually can benefit us in many ways. Ever wonder why, as you are planning a vacation online, the ads on the sides of sites eventually are from travel agency websites wanting you to look at their great deals? It’s because your browsing history is being tracked (mostly by Google, since that’s where those ads come from) and so the ads are tailor made for you. Try to remember, if you are old enough, time before the Internet. Try to remember, if you are old enough, a time before Google. Remember the time it took to find the information you needed? Remember when, in order to get information on promotions, you had to actually visit the place or have their catalogue sent to you? Remember that the next time you say you are sick of the ads on a website, and remember that the information you are accessing is probably free thanks to these ads.
With the way in which NFC is used in this article, I think companies might be doing something on their end of this little unspoken agreement. Here they are, getting information (email, maybe phone numbers) about the people who are scanning For Sale signs and in return the customer is getting information that they want and need. It’s a good tradeoff as far as I’m concerned, and one that companies should remember as time passes and NFC becomes an everyday part of people’s lives. Most modern people with the means for NFC are used to sharing their information, but will not take being exploited.