QR codes are great – building a bridge for real estate information consumers between physical media such as lawn signs and flyers and websites. All you need to do is to open up your QR code scanning app (or use the one built into your real estate app – good thinking Trulia!) and scan that ugly QR code. There, I said it. QR codes are ugly. So very ugly. But is there a better way? Maybe, coming reasonably soon.
The Apple iPhone 5 and various Android phones due out in 2011 will be “near field communication” or “NFC” initiators. NFC is a wireless technology that lets the initiator (such as a mobile phone) that is swiped over a target interact with it. Most people think of it being used for things like mobile payments, but it could be used for real estate signs and other materials too, pretty much replacing what we use QR codes for today and doing so without the ugly factor of QR. The range is only about two inches, so signage would have to be placed pretty close to the curb – NFC is not as convenient as QR codes in terms of range – but I’ve had to get pretty close up to lawn signs to get QR codes to work there too. NFC targets can be non-powered – tags, cards, stickers, cards etc. – mostly useful for transferring information to the initiator, like QR codes. But NFC tags can also be powered – programmable and writable. I’m just starting to imagine the peer-to-peer applications for real estate…
So, I just want my clients and colleagues to be aware of NFC. It might be a year or three until device adoption lets us replace QR codes, and maybe QR codes will still have a role to play, but the possibilities offered by NFC could be tremendous.
To get you thinking, here’s a cool video – A day at MIT with Near-Field Communication
Share this post: