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NFC-enabled ads…the future in print, brought to you by Lexus and WIRED Magazine


First, a quick lesson.

What is NFC?  It stands for Near Field Communication.

Great.  But what does that mean?

Near field communication (NFC) is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into close proximity, usually no more than a few centimetres.

Present and anticipated applications include contactless transactions, data exchange, and simplified setup of more complex communications such as Wi-Fi.[1] Communication is also possible between an NFC device and an unpowered NFC chip, called a “tag”.

(Wikipedia – Near Field Communication)

NFC currently exists by way of mobile-payment, but what makes this so newsworthy, is that this is the first time that NFC will be integrated into a print ad (Lexus ad in the April issue of WIRED Magazine).

NFC-enabled Lexus ad (Wired Magazine) - as seen in the Ad Age article.

“WIRED introducing the first NFC-enabled ad could only be made possible by bringing together the creative minds at Lexus with our reputation for pushing the envelope with emerging technologies and ideas,” said WIRED VP and Publisher Howard Mittman. “The WIRED world moves at an extraordinary speed, and this shows how we continue to work with our partners to ensure we all remain on the cutting edge.”

(Reuters – Press Release: WIRED Delivers First-Ever NFC-Enabled Advertisement Featuring Lexus)

You’re probably thinking…ok, this already exists with QR codes.  But no, it’s actually different.

Unlike the 2-D barcodes that have been storming magazine pages, readers don’t need to take pictures of anything with their phones’ cameras. The phone automatically detects the NFC chip.

In the case of Wired and Lexus, that brings up a link on the phone’s screen. Click the link and a welcome video loads introducing the car’s in-dash App Suite. Users can then click on each of the app icons — Bing, OpenTable, iHeartRadio, Pandora, MovieTickets.com, and Yelp — to see short videos explaing [sic] each app.

(Ad Age – Lexus Brings NFC-Enabled Print Ad to Wired Magazine)

What I find most fascinating, is that of all industries…it’s the auto industry that is making it’s mark with this new technology.

According to the NFC forum (yes, there is actually a forum on this technology), when asked about the forecasted opportunity for NFC

Jupiter Research has projected that up to 700 million NFC-enabled mobile phones will be sold by 2013, representing up to 25 percent of the market at that time (November 2008). Jupiter Research has also projected that NFC Mobile Payments will exceed $30bn by 2012 (September 2009).

(NFC Forum – FAQs)

It’ll be interesting to see how this affects print vs. online advertising,  the (hurting) auto industry, the economy in Japan, and the behemoth known as Apple (as it is not on-board with NFC yet…).

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Filed under: Automobiles, Business, Marketing, Science, Social Media, Tech, , , , , , , ,

Friday: The sky is falling…or just a defunct satellite.


If you haven’t heard it by now, a defunct satellite is due to reach Earth this afternoon (September 23rd).

The defunct satellite is

NASA’s Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite (UARS), which launched in 1991 and was shut down in 2005 after completing its mission.

It was originally thought that the UARS was to make landfall in late September/early October, but:

 NASA spokeswoman Beth Dickey confirmed with SPACE.com earlier today that the reason UARS is expected to fall early in its re-entry window is because of the sharp uptick in solar activity. Solar effects from the sun can create an extra drag on satellites in space because they can heat the Earth’s atmosphere, causing it to expand, agency officials have said.    (Space.com – September 16)

So why is this UARS falling to Earth?

Generally, satellites in Earth orbit naturally lose altitude slowly over time if they have no fuel to boost to higher orbit. The orbit of UARS has slowly decayed over the years following its deactivation, to the point that it will soon begin its final dive toward the ground, pulled in by gravity.

It’s important to note the “no fuel” part.  So aside from this bus-sized 6 ton object falling, it will not have any toxic components.

I’m not sure about you, but I have no grasp of what 1 ton, let alone 6 tons looks like!?  So in an effort to learn more, consider this a fun lesson.

1 ton = 2,000 pound

= 5,000 – 14,000 lbs (or 2.5 – 7 tons)

= 6 tons

Ok, fantastic.  So an object the size of a bus, that weighs anywhere between 2 large African elephants to 1 Killer Whale, may fall where?

NASA may only know for sure, 2-3 hours before.  But the debris (apparently 26 large pieces..how do they know this?) is due to cover 500 miles (roughly the length between San Diego to San Francisco).

The satellite is rotating in an uncontrolled pattern, which is why no one knows where it will land.

Where will the satellite fall? (WashPo) Click to view larger.

Apparently the satellite is not expected to fall in North America.

Though, dear reader, if you aren’t located in North America, fear not.

There is a 1-in-3,200 chance that UARS debris could hit a person, though NASA considers that scenario extremely remote.

Filed under: Random, Science, World, , , , , ,

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