Near Field Communications

The first edition of Google’s Think Quarterly has an informative article on Near Field Communications (NFC). It’s a clear explanation of the technology and it’s uses, the gist of which is to support the old saw that we’ll replace our wallets with our cell phones.

Of course I love this idea in theory, but I’m pretty skeptical that it will come to pass in the near future, at least in the U.S. There are just too many cards associated with organizations or businesses which simply don’t have the resources to convert to a new system, regardless how relatively inexpensive such a conversion may be. Consider your local library card–is your local library in an expansion mode, or a contraction mode? How about your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles? How’s their funding holding up? Are they ready to issue upgraded driver licenses to everyone in your state? Maybe your local schools and universities are ready for a wholesale conversion? The list goes on.

I like the old saying that goes something like, “In theory, there isn’t much difference between theory and practice. In practice, the difference is huge.” It feels to me like this is the case with NFC.