Business & Effectivity

Creating a comfortable world around you with NFC

Today, our subject is NFC.


For those who don't know exactly what it is, NFC is the abbreviation of "Near Field Communication", a set of standards based on RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) which base themselves on the communication between both sides when they come to a distance of 1-2 cm one from the other. This principle also sets the fact that there is no need for one of the sides to have its own energy source, since it can get the energy it needs for each transmission by induction from the other side. This last fact is allowing NFC to begin developing into a world of interesting applications.

When NFC was first launched, the main use advertised for it was on mobile payments. "This is the technology that will replace our plastic credit cards", he heard. That's due to the fact that our phone is always with us and it is an unique accessory which can identify each one of us. 

In fact, what we see two years later, is that the technology is having some trouble in its mass adoption for this purpose. We still lack a critical mass of businesses which already support NFC payments on their shops, and only now we are beginning to see a real growth in the number of different phone models which include the NFC technology.

Meanwhile, the human mind got in action, and if we already have an interesting functionality in our phone which is not being of such as much use as we expected, why not invent some other uses for it?

This is what this article is about. We will review the different kinds of uses we can make of NFC, how to use the technology, what are NFC tags, how we read them and how we prepare them to use. Be ready also for a demonstration video.

More after the break.

Full link between computer and Android Phone

I have recently received this information from a member of my Hebrew website and thought it would be nice to share it here as well.

Member of the site adunsky describes a way to create a link and transfer information OTA between a computer running the Chrome browser and an Android device. The whole functionality can be very interesting for people that are frequently busy moving information from one to the other.

So here it goes after the break.

Having my wallet everywhere I am

Well, having my wallet everywhere I am seems quite trivial when I am talking about my physical wallet - yes, that one that holds the bills - but it may not be so when I am talking about an electronic wallet that holds my passwords and personal data.

In the past, when I used my Windows Mobile device, I used to use eWallet from Ilium Software, a great wallet system which had a very good desktop companion and Windows Mobile Client for keeping the wallet updated everywhere. Every day I would connect my device to the PC and the wallets would sync.

Then I moved to Android, and all that Ilium could offer me in this platform was a viewer to my wallet, while all the editing was supposed to be done in the PC. Better than nothing, but not enough for me. I was out to find my new wallet software.

Luckilly, in the same days, SBSH announced their new Safewallet 2, and with it a version for Android to be released soon (meanwhile it has already been released). Knowing the quality of SBSH products, I decided I ought to try it. And so I did.

Roadsync for Android: Exchange in your Android device

One of the reports that I am getting frequently in the last weeks regarding the Nexus One is about disappointment of users that discover that they cannot sync their Exchange Account to the device.

Fear not !!! Roadsync for Android is here for you!

Roadsync is a package developed by Dataviz, which is usually recognized by their successful Documents-to-Go software. Roadsync has been for years a very successful software on Symbian, solving problems that Mail for Exchange cannot solve. It is based on Microsoft Activesync, and has been lately ported to the Android platform.

Cost is very low (only $9.99 at the Android market), installation is simple, and in 5 minutes you can be sync'ing your account.

All the details at Dataviz's website.

Software Review: GPSed

My last article here, dating of some weeks ago, was about Mobiscope from Shape Services. Curiously, some days after publishing that article, I was advised that the company has released an update for another of their best sellers, GPSed.

So I wrote to them and asked for a reviewer's license in order to try to figure out what they are talking about with GPSed, and what's all the fun with it.

The above pictures are from the developers' website. My findings, together with my own screenshots and a short video just after the break.


So what is it for?

Mobiscope: Surveillance cameras without spending much

Many times we feel the need to have surveillance cameras at home or at the office. It could be the office at the times we are not there, home during a vacation period, or even a hidden camera to verify how our elderly relatives or children are being taken care by their nurses or babysitters.

However, the price of such a system can be very high. Something quite outrageous, considering that most systems existing today are appliances based on two common technologies: network cameras and PCs.

So what could we do to get similar results without going bankrupt and getting access to the cameras from everywhere? Here is where Mobiscope comes in.

The details after the break.

Re-visiting Qik

One of the Internet startups that I have been following with most interest during the last year is Qik.

For those who don't know it, Qik is a video streaming service based on mobile use. They have clients for a long list of mobile phones, and these clients allow the phone user to stream his videos directly to the Internet.

Qik managed to create a compression algorythm that makes the video streaming to their site impressively fast. They work over 3G and if you have a good data plan you just won't feel it.

RIA is about to begin helping mobile users in Mexico

I am currently on a trip to Latin America, to visit Magic's distributors in the area. Surely, even when travelling, I can't help noticing things happening in the mobile arena.

First thing, it is impressive to see the progress GSM has made in Mexico in the last year. If last year we would have in most cases 2G only and the only company offering 3G somehow was USACELL, today I am crossing the city North to South, East to West, with 3G coverage all over the place.

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