Near field communication (NFC) technology has been around for a while, but it’s been gaining popularity as people discover all of its valuable applications. In 2018, The Next Web identified NFC as the underdog tech expected to explode in popularity over the next five years, and explode it has. Some of NFC’s best-known applications today are key cards and mobile contactless payment, but you can also use NFC technology to create signs for your business. At SpeedPro, we can help you create NFC signs that extend your sign’s functionality and engage people on their smart devices.
What Is NFC Signage?
NFC signage is a type of smart signage, meaning it combines digital technology and print to inform and influence your audience. Any two objects that both contain an NFC tag can communicate. Many smartphones today are NFC-enabled, so all you need is a sign — whether it’s a wall mural, decal, freestanding sign or any other display — that contains an NFC chip, and you’re all set to communicate digitally with your audience.
Your sign should prompt people to hold their phone near the chip, and the video, audio file, app or webpage you want to share will automatically pop up on the person’s phone. As we’ll see, there are many ways you can leverage NFC-enabled chip signage to enhance the customer experience and boost your marketing efforts.
Advantages of NFC Signage
NFC signage offers some unique advantages for businesses, even compared to other forms of smart signage such as QR code signs.
1. It Connects Print and Digital
An advantage of smart signage, including NFC signage, is that it merges the print and digital worlds to capitalize on the advantages of both. Physical signs grab people’s attention and meet your customers right where they are, giving them the information they need right when and where they need it. However, printed signs alone are somewhat limited in the amount of information they can convey. Digital links and files expand the possibilities for sharing detailed information with people and give them a way to learn more right there on their devices.
2. You Can Update It as Needed
One advantage NFC signs offer over QR code signage is their flexibility. Whenever you want to change the information the NFC chip pulls up on a person’s phone, you can. QR codes come with their own advantages, but if you wanted to change the link or file on a QR code sign, you would have to generate a new code and print a new sign. With an NFC sign, you can make changes as frequently as necessary without having to update your sign.
3. It’s Fast and Convenient
Another advantage of NFC signs is how convenient they are. All recent smartphones contain NFC technology that allows this communication to happen without the need for an app or any special steps on the user’s part. All a person has to do is get out their phone and hold it within about 4 inches of the NFC tag, and their phone will automatically pull up the right information. With QR codes, on the other hand, you have to use a scanner app that uses your phone’s camera to read the code.
4. It’s Touchless
It’s notable that with NFC signage, the whole experience is touchless. This is significant since businesses are increasingly looking for ways to minimize physical contact for health purposes. Rather than handing out reusable menus, maps or other materials, you can allow people to get the same information right there on their personal device. This eliminates the chance of transmitting germs between customers through your signage or other materials.
How Can You Use Smart Signage?
NFC signs can play a helpful role in many types of businesses and facilities. Here are some examples of how you can use NFC signage:
- Touchless menu: Restaurants can use NFC signs as touchless menus. By holding their phone near the sign, a person standing outside on the sidewalk or someone waiting to order or be seated can view your menu on their phone. You can make this menu more interactive than print menus with photos, nutritional information and more.
- Museum virtual tour: Museums can use NFC signage posted next to exhibits to create self-guided tours. A person can hold their phone near an exhibit sign and gain instant access to additional information. This could be text, but a more popular option is to link to an audio or video file where a narrator or tour guide shares information about the exhibit.
- Product galleries or demos: Stores can use NFC signs to connect shoppers to images or videos that demonstrate how a product can be used. For example, a person might scan a sign in a home improvement store to view photos of the tile they’re interested in installed in a variety of rooms. In an appliance store, a person might connect to an NFC sign to watch a product demo or infomercial associated with a kitchen gadget.
- Virtual map: An NFC sign can also help with wayfinding. You can link to an interactive map that shows the person where they are and how to get to where they need to go. This can help people navigate large facilities like office complexes, shopping malls or department stores.
- Translation service: Since space is limited on a sign, you may only include your message in one language or two at the most. For buildings in metropolitan centers where many cultures merge, this can be a problem. One solution is to include an NFC chip that pulls up your sign’s message in a variety of languages or allows the user to select their preferred language before reading the sign’s message right there on their device.
- Room scheduling: In an office, educational building or any other facility where people can reserve rooms for their meetings or activities, you need a way to facilitate this scheduling. For commonly reserved rooms like conference rooms, you can include an NFC sticker on the door that people can use to access the app or page where they can schedule their use of the room.
- Event registration or check-in: You can also use NFC signs at events to connect attendees instantly to a registration or check-in page. This can eliminate the long lines at registration and check-in tables. Even if people still need to physically check in to receive a name tag or other materials, they can still jumpstart the process by filling out information online.
NFC Signage From SpeedPro
If you want to create custom smart signage, partner with SpeedPro. Our expertise extends beyond traditional print media. We can help you create signs in various types that contain InfoLnkX Near Field Communication (NFC) tags to connect your customers, employees or event attendees to whatever information you choose. Find a SpeedPro studio near you to reach out to your local SpeedPro team and get started.