NFC Opportunities for Advertising

First of all, do you really know what NFC is and actually what is the difference to Bluetooth? Here we go:

  • NFC always needs an initiator and a target.
  • The initiator generates the electromagnetic field which powers the target.
  • NFC devices consume less power than Bluetooth
  • Some NFC devices don´t consume power at all, e.g. tags, stickers and cards.
  • Connections between two NFC devices are much faster than Bluetooth.


  • The difference between Bluetooth and NFC is the range.
  • You can send a photo with your phone to another Bluetooth device at a distance of around 5 meters (Up to 100m with a Class 1 device).
  • NFC meanwhile is limited to two tenths of a meter or approximately 8 inches.
  • The idea behind NFC in phones is that you can simply tap the devices together and the files will be transferred instantly.

Watch out on the Security

  •  Technology is still vulnerable to attacks.
  •  Anyone with a special antenna could eavesdrop while two devices are communicating.
  • The Proxmark instrument is an open source device that can be used for eavesdropping on NFC connections.
  • Data sent through NFC can also be destroyed using an RFID jammer, a security attack which has no solution until now.

 Advantages of Bluetooth´s Security

  • Bluetooth is older, its security is much more improved than NFC.
  • Data sent over Bluetooth are heavily encrypted and only the best hackers in the world could possibly eavesdrop during communication.
  • People who are in-charged of developing standards for Bluetooth have been active in improving its security.

What are the Uses?

  • Besides sharing files, NFC is found useful in other areas.
  • NFC phones can now be used to pay bills in stores and restaurants similar to credit cards.
  • Your NFC device contains data unique to you which is why it can act like an electronic ticket or virtual wallet.
  • Germany and Austria have tried to use NFC for ticketing in their public transports.
  • You can also now use Google Wallet to pay for bills in any establishment that accept MasterCard PayPass transactions.

 Please note:

  • Although both technologies are used for sharing files, they are actually different and have their own uses.
  • The low power consumption of NFC makes it suitable for used in simple objects like tags and keys.
  • Its speed in establishing connection is perfect for making transactions as replacement for traditional credit cards. The amount of information it can send wirelessly, however, is the reason why it can’t replace Bluetooth in wireless applications.
  • NFC can send out 424,000 bits per second compared to 2,000,000 bits for Bluetooth. This means it is still takes less time to transfer files through Bluetooth than NFC.
  • There is also still a lot of room left for security improvements on NFC. Tapping two phones to share files is cool though.

How could this technology be used in Advertising?

  • City Lights Poster, Billboards and all other OOH Media.
  • In the cover of a magazine.
  • Hotel: In an elevator to get the latest menu from the Restaurant.

What other ideas come up to your mind?

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