Android jumps on the NFC bandwagon

As many of the authorities agree, Android is the most promising mobile platform. It is now the second after Symbian (bypassing iOS) and it is on the rise to the top. NFC support for Android was already under development and it was rumoured that the latest Android version 2.3 Gingerbread will officially support NFC. This was confirmed at the Web 2.0 Summit during the discussion session with Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google with Tim O’Reilly and John Batelle.

He even demonstrated an NFC tag reading application that opened the location of the tag on Google Map. The full session can be watched on Youtube here.

After Nokia and Apple’s patents and applications on NFC, now Android has committed in to the NFC space. In general, banks and telco operators have already had many pilot programs and now the picture is almost complete with one little actor missing: the device manufacturers! Unfortunately there are too little number of handsets with NFC support.

Anyway, let’s look at the bright side. Now that all major mobile platforms officially support NFC, application developers can have a wider range of users. Mobile application markets have already solved the distribution problems, now the it is time for the -hopefully- gold rush!

Here are an idea of an NFC project other than obvious payment and ticketing applications:

Imagine check ins with Foursquare over the NFC tags attached to the cashier desks of the venues with NFC supported handsets. These tags (not necessarily just tags) can offer discounts based on the check ins for a specific time frame. Or even based on a pattern like buying gas from a certain network and then buying food from a certain supermarket chain. It can even trigger a payment application residing next to the coupon application.

The only question remains here is when?

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