To support their growing line of NFC-enabled phones, Nokia has launched a web store that sells NFC tags that perform a variety of functions, including automatic foursquare checkins.
The tags are available in posters (in two different sizes) and stickers. Company logos and messages can be added for an extra fee. They come preprogrammed with your venue information, so all a customer has to do is tap the tag with their NFC-enabled phone and they’ll be checked in automatically. You can even set a shout that will be sent with the checkin and a post-checkin message that will be delivered to the customer.
The tags are compatible with Nokia’s own N9 and C7 phones (the latter when the Anna update is released in late August). They also support the Google Nexus S, Tocco Quick Tap and Motorola’s MC75A. The upcoming Blackberry Bold 9900 and 9930 and Galaxy S II will also be supported.
At least for now, Nokia’s phones only feature Open NFC, which doesn’t allow for the secure payments envisioned by other handset manufacturers. They’ve opened the NFC Hub to help promote the interactive campaigns businesses can create with Open NFC. In addition to foursquare checkins, they support Twitter follows, Facebook likes, Custom URLs and more.
Once the tags are created, businesses will have the ability to monitor the amount of activity they generate and update the URLs accessed by the tag.
The NFC Hub is currently limited to the United Kingdom, but will likely roll out to the rest of Europe over time. Prices for the posters and stickers are high, but not astronomical when businesses are ordering in small quantities. An A3-sized poster runsÂ Â£25, while the A4 poster and sticker areÂ Â£20. Business cards that include contact information, on the other hand, are a whoppingÂ Â£11 eachÂ ($18 US).
Foursquare has already begun testing NFC-enabled checkins. A small sticker in their office allows employees with supported phones to check in, and a recent trial at Google’s I/O conference encouraged users to use NFC to check in and earn a special badge.
NFC offers an easier, faster way for users to check in, but will likely never be used specifically for verifying checkins in order to earn specials or badges. There are simply too many phones without NFC and too many businesses and venues (how would you check in to Central Park, for instance?) that would need NFC-tags to make that a reality.
The new tags are a nice step from Nokia to get businesses started with NFC-enabled checkins and other actions. We’re at the beginning of a very-long adoption process, but this is just the kind of simple-to-implement solution that’s needed to get the ball rolling.
What do you think of Nokia’s NFC-enabled checkin tags?
After the jump: a video of Nokia’s NFC foursquare checkins in action.