The User Experience of Near Field Communication


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The information age took us by storm and the mobile revolution is still in full effect – yet we already stand on the brink of the next paradigm shift: the seamless connection of information and personal devices. Imagine a world where you have the possibility of giving your devices context by simply holding them close to a tiny chip. Things like sharing your WiFi credentials or telling your mobile phone that you are going to bed and it should mute and dim itself and also set the alarm clock to 7am. All with one simple touch — Welcome to the world of Near Field Communication. This talk focuses on the amazing possibilities of NFC in everyday use. A variety of actual and (once) futuristic use cases will illustrate how NFC can enrich our experiences with technology and how this relates to our profession of User Experience Design and our role in shaping the future.

Published in: Design, Technology, Business

The User Experience of Near Field Communication

  1. 1. Memi BeltrameThe User experience ofNear Field CommunicationMay 15. 2013UX Lisbon
  2. 2. THe Mobilerevolution
  3. 3. THe Mobilerevolution mobile revolution took us by storm and is still infull effect. I am going to tell something about the nextchapter of this revolution. It is all about makingeveryday interactions easier and more enjoyable.Before we start I would like to make three observatonson things that I find make our lives hard in terms ofinteractions:
  4. 4. MoneyCumbersomeinteractions
  5. 5. MoneyCumbersomeinteractionsNumber 1: Our daily lives are filled with complicatedand confusing interactions with all sorts of objects andappliances like for example ticketting machines...
  6. 6. ... or illogical arrays of light light switches.
  7. 7. Unneccessary
  8. 8. UnneccessaryNumber 2: Our Lives are full of tasks we would prefernot to do and if we have the choice will be more thanhappy to skip them.This for example is one of many versiona of the WiFiNightmare. In this case the provider wants to verify myexistence via SMS...
  9. 9. The WiFiNightmare
  10. 10. The WiFiNightmare...which of course does not really work without having asignal.
  11. 11. Context wouldbe king
  12. 12. Context wouldbe kingNumber 3: The things we interact with are isolatedobjects that are not aware of who is using them or whatelse is around them.So the main pain points of interactions are badinterfaces, silly workflows and the lack of context.
  13. 13. Rejoice!
  14. 14. Rejoice! don‘t worry: This is about to change. We are aboutto enter a new era. A time where objects areinterconnected and where things can have an identity -making it possible to replace manual tasks by digitalprocesses.
  15. 15. The Web of Things
  16. 16. The Web of ThingsThis is the era of the internet of things: Objects thathave sensors and that can communicate via the internetwith other objects. Objects that can be reached bysmartphones and computers of the internet.Like this plant sensor that tells me if the plant needswatering through my mobile phone.
  17. 17. Near Field Communication
  18. 18. Near Field CommunicationOne important element in all this is a technology callednear field communication or in short NFC.What you see here are the different logos used inconnection with NFC.
  19. 19. Pairing
  20. 20. PairingWithout going into technical details, heres how NFCworks:NFC allows smartphones and similar devices tocommunicate with each other just by holding themclose to each other, usually no more than a fewcentimeters. This is called Pairing.
  21. 21. Tags
  22. 22. TagsNFC devices can read and write informations on NFCchips, called so called "tags".These tags can hold all sorts of information like links towebsites, contact information or WiFi Credentials.And thats all the technical info you need to know.
  23. 23. Here‘s an example how NFC works:This is a book that is part of a company library. The tagon the book contains a link that leads to the librarypage of this specific book. By swiping your NFC phoeover the tag your phones browser opens the booksLibrary page and the user can borrow the book in a verysimple process.
  24. 24. NFC SO FAR
  25. 25. NFC SO FARSo far payment systems are the most talked aboutapplication of NFC.But:
  26. 26. Access & ID
  27. 27. Access & IDWe have been using NFC all along with smart ticketingsystems like Londons Oyster Card, with Library Cards,Or whenever you were given a card as your Hotel RoomKey.So why is this a revolution if we have been using it allalong?
  28. 28. Access & IDWith the oyster card and you were given the chip.If youre using your NFC enabled Phone to interact withNFC this is completely different Story:With your phone you are holding the reader. And thisreader has a display to show an interface, and becauseit is your personal device it is tied to you.
  29. 29. Access & IDSo NFC in the future will be about the seamlessconnection of information and personal devices.
  30. 30. Usecases
  31. 31. UsecasesI believe that the main fields where NFC has a lot ofpotential are travel and Tourism, Health care, and Homeautomation. Here a few examples.
  32. 32. PaymentPayment
  33. 33. PaymentPaymentI will not talk about payment methods.Contactless payments are fantastic but I think NFC hasway more applications that just money exchange.
  34. 34. On the move
  35. 35. On the move are a few very interesting scenarios that have todeal with being on the move.
  36. 36. Wifi
  37. 37. WifiThe simplest of them is Access to wifi.Wifi in hotels and restaurants is a nightmare.NFC makes this simple:The WiFi Credentials can be written on a tag so usersjust have to swipe their phones over it and theyre done.No error prone typing. Fast and easy.
  38. 38. Tokio
  39. 39. Tokio Just imagine you are in a hotel room in Tokio, it isSummer. Its hot and humid.Luckily your room has air conditioning!
  40. 40. Unfortunately it comes with a remote control that lookslike this.
  41. 41. Just imagine you could hold your phone against an NFCchip and it would display the interface of the airconditioning in your language. This is possible. The airconditioning could have a small webserver running andthe tag would just launch your browser linking to theserver of the air conditioning.
  42. 42. Car Sharing
  43. 43. Car SharingNext scenario: Imagine you share a car with yourspouse. Now whenever you use the car after yourspouse, you have to adjust the seat, the mirrors, thespeakers, the radio station.If you have an NFC enabled car, all you need is to openyour car with your phone and the adjustments are madeautomatically, because the car knows your phone.
  44. 44. ★ CID Customer Identification Device (Lancia)★ Emotion Control Unit ECU (Aston Martin),★ Komfortschlüssel (Audi),★ Keyless Access oder KESSY (Volkswagen, Skoda, Subaru, Hella)★ Keycard Handsfree Entry and Drive/ SES Smart Entry System (Renault)★ KeyFree Power (Ford)★ Keyless Drive / Keyless Vehicle (Volvo)★ Keyless Start (Suzuki)★ Komfortzugang bzw. Comfort Access (BMW)★ LogIn (Mazda)★ PASE Passive Start Entry System (Siemens VDO)★ PEPS Passive Entry Passive Start / Open & Start (Opel, ContiTemic & Hella)★ PEG Passive Entry Go (DaimlerChrysler, Hella)★ PE/PG Passive Entry Passive Go und CE/CG Comfort Entry Comfort Go (Bosch)★ Smart Entry & Start (Toyota)★ Smart Key (KIA)★ Intelligent Key (Nissan)List of Keyless Go Projects
  45. 45. ★ CID Customer Identification Device (Lancia)★ Emotion Control Unit ECU (Aston Martin),★ Komfortschlüssel (Audi),★ Keyless Access oder KESSY (Volkswagen, Skoda, Subaru, Hella)★ Keycard Handsfree Entry and Drive/ SES Smart Entry System (Renault)★ KeyFree Power (Ford)★ Keyless Drive / Keyless Vehicle (Volvo)★ Keyless Start (Suzuki)★ Komfortzugang bzw. Comfort Access (BMW)★ LogIn (Mazda)★ PASE Passive Start Entry System (Siemens VDO)★ PEPS Passive Entry Passive Start / Open & Start (Opel, ContiTemic & Hella)★ PEG Passive Entry Go (DaimlerChrysler, Hella)★ PE/PG Passive Entry Passive Go und CE/CG Comfort Entry Comfort Go (Bosch)★ Smart Entry & Start (Toyota)★ Smart Key (KIA)★ Intelligent Key (Nissan)List of Keyless Go ProjectsThis is an impressive list of projects by carmanufacturers that are dealing with Keyless KeySystems.Looks like this is something that will hit the market verysoon!
  46. 46. REntals
  47. 47. REntalsA similar use case is rentals: this is a project fromBarcelona called Eco-oltra and it is a system that letsthe users rent a electric scooters using their mobilephones and then, using NFC they can also use themobile phone to start the scooter because it detectsthat this mobile has been used to make the reservation.
  48. 48. REntalsThis has the very great advantage that if your motorbikedoes not work you can very easily request the key foranother bike without have to go anywhere.
  49. 49. Healthcare
  50. 50. Healthcare of Scene: Lets have a look at healthcare:Whenever I am in a Hospital I am always surprised thatthere are almost no digital processes. A lot is done byhandwriting on paper. Very error prone and it does notscale. All this Equipment that you see generates animmense amount of data, related to one patient. Datathat is not tied to the person digitally.
  51. 51. This is a Thermometer. Imagine that every Patient wouldhave a NFC Tag attached to the bed. This Tag would justhold the ID of the patient. This ID would correspond toa profile of the patient in the cloud. The thermometerwould be able to read the tag and transmit themeasured temperature to the patient profile.
  52. 52. This can be extended to all sorts of measurements likeblood pressure, weight or also medication like infusionsand syringes.
  53. 53.
  54. 54. the doctor comes to visit you all she needs is adevice that can read the chip and gets all the data fromthe profile that she needs to assess your case.
  55. 55. Precautions
  56. 56. PrecautionsThis is all very exiting, but there are a few things toconsider:
  57. 57. Not all smartphones have NFC. iPhones don‘t have itand by far not all Androids support it.Another big issue is Battery life, also a huge problem.These two issues point to the rule that users should nothave to rely solely on having a smartphone to use aservice.
  58. 58. Enhancing
  59. 59. EnhancingUsing your mobile can also just be the enhancement ofthe NFC tag you‘re given so that the basic experienceworks without you having to rely on your mobileA nice illustration of this is the ordering process of theitalian restaurant Vapiano in Zurich . You get an NFCcard on which every order is recorded.
  60. 60. Whenever you order a pizza you also get a buzzer thatis paired with your card and when the pizza is ready thebuzzer goes off. This buzzer could be replaced withyour phone and because unlike this buzzer your phonehas a display it allows even more functionality like forinstance ordering more drinks
  61. 61. Design in Flux
  62. 62. Design in FluxHow will this affect us designers? Designing for NFC andthe internet of things is becoming an interdisciplinaryfield consisting of service design, interaction design andindustrial design.
  63. 63. Design in FluxWe will design a holistic experience that goes beyondthe screen, we will have to take into account where thesystem will be used, where the tags will be placed andhow are users going to interact with them.
  64. 64. devices
  65. 65. devicesWe will have to know a lot more about the context ofusers in the wider sense. If we want to design a holisticexperience for a hospital we will have to think about alot more that just how user needs are translated to thescreens. We will have to observe a lot to see thepotential for improvements.
  66. 66. Controls
  67. 67. ControlsWe will have to a lot to do with translating hardwarecontrols into easy to use interfaces.
  68. 68. Workflows
  69. 69. WorkflowsWe will have to think very hard about workflows andabout the connections between the digital and physicalworld to make sure that the experience is reallyseamless.
  70. 70. R/Evolution !
  71. 71. R/Evolution !A lot of this is happening right now. There are millionsof NFC Capable devices - they‘re just not being used.The future of NFC is now - it just needs a broader, NFCconscious audience.
  72. 72. Thank You!I‘m Memi Beltrame@bratwurstkomet