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How the combination of media made things interesting

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Posters like these are placed at selected restaurants at Portland, Oregon, where people holding a Near Field Communication (NFC) infused phone, such as a Google Nexus S, can scan their phones on such posters,  getting them the latest promotions, reviews, and other information exchange between the restaurant and users in general.

Multimedia, as the name suggests, is a combination of different technologies that offer an experience that does not parallel to any single medium could offer.

Take the recent Google’s push for Near Field Communication (NFC) for instance, is a brilliant combination of Google’s sterling Maps services, combining with a new NFC.

NFC itself is not a new cutting edge technology that Google invented, it is in fact, a technology that we Singaporeans use almost everyday. The EZ-Link card is an implementation of NFC technology.

What exactly is NFC then? It is a technology where users possess a chip that could be electro-magnetically be powered by a near by transmitter. When powered, data communication could be established between the chip in consumer’s hand, and the transmitter at at business’s end.

In EZ-Link, NFC is used as a contact-less paying system for commuters to pay fares. But in Google’s case, the marriage between Maps, and NFC creates a whole new experience.

Google built their latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) mobile OS, and their latest phone, the Google Nexus S to support NFC technology. Which means to say, their latest phone has the NFC chip embedded inside.

Combining with Google’s ever popular Maps application present with in both mobile and desktop form, other businesses could drop “pins”, or virtual markers on the Maps application, with information about their businesses. Google calls this Google Places.

An introductory video released by Google during the launch of their Nexus S phone, highlighting NFC features with Google Places

In pilot program, restaurants in Portland, Oregon which are marked by pins in Google Maps,  were given physical stickers at the door of their physical premises. These stickers actually include NFC chips embedded to it, where uses of Google’s Nexus S phone could scan their phones on these stickers to get more information about the restaurant. For instance, they could instantly read about the restaurant’s promotion, rating and reviews on the said restaurant.

To add on, these social infused information are then updated live to Google’s Map services, where other users who are not physically in the vicinity could read about.

So in all, NFC or any medium by itself isn’t exciting. It is the marriage of various forms of media that makes multimedia an exciting experience.


Written by garygoh

March 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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