Today at the 40th annual Consumer Electronics Show, attendees are displaying credentials to enter the show floor where they are busy swapping business cards, collecting product brochures and buying coffee to keep going through the endless rows of company exhibits. Simultaneously, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is announcing the world's first fully integrated, commercial NFC handset, the Nokia 6131 NFC phone, which will soon allow all of these activities and more to be performed with the simple tap of a phone.
Featuring the same slim folding lines and outstanding features, the Nokia 6131 NFC handset includes Near Field Communications (NFC) technology to enable information sharing, service initiation and payment & ticketing capability with one tap of the device. Used in much the same way as existing contactless cards and keytags to allow access and make small payments, the addition of NFC technology to a full featured mobile device adds an entirely new level of capability by leveraging the phone's computing power, wireless Internet access and user interface.
"At CES there are dozens of potential use cases for the Nokia 6131 NFC phone. Instead of carrying a badge for entry, a tap of my phone could authorize my admittance to the exhibition, access to product information could be achieved by touching my phone on a product display, making carrying brochures around the show floor obsolete, and instead of heading to the ATM machine on a daily basis, coffee, sodas and hot dogs could be purchased using an NFC-enabled phone," said Juha Kokkonen, director of Mobile Experiences for Nokia's Mobile Phones business. "In a trade show environment like CES, one of my favorite applications is using NFC-enabled business cards. Instead of going home with a pocket full of cards that I have to scan or hand type into my computer, I can simply touch the card, and I have all of the contact information right in my phone."
Unlike a simple card or keytag, which only allows for one-way communication, an NFC-enabled mobile phone allows users to realize the benefits of a fully interactive experience. For example, touching an NFC-enabled advertising poster or informational kiosk can automatically link the user to interactive Internet based information, open an audio file, or download new content directly to the handset. Additionally, an extra layer of security is enabled when making contactless payments since the handset can be set to allow payment information only when the user expressly authorizes the transaction via a password, unlike a card or tag, which can be used by whoever has it in their possession.
Along with its NFC features, the Nokia 6131 NFC phone includes an extensive set of today's most wanted wireless features. A built-in digital music player with microSD card support and FM stereo radio allow customers to enjoy their favorite music on the go. A 1.3 megapixel camera, featuring a dedicated camera button and 8x digital zoom makes it easy to capture and share images. Bluetooth wireless technology enables easy connection to a wide selection of Nokia enhancements and PC's or even the ability to go handsfree in compatible automobiles.
The Nokia 6131 NFC phone is expected to be available in select markets during the 1st quarter of 2007 for approximately $340 (260 Euros) before taxes and subsidies.