World’s first NFC supermarket to open in Paris
In an example of how far ahead some countries are with utilizing NFC technology, a major grocery store chain in France is set to launch what is being called the world’s first fully NFC-compatible supermarket. Customers will tap their phones next to each product they pick up, and then tap their phone at the register before they head outside.
Next to every item in the store are special NFC tags that transmit information about the product to the user’s phone, via a special app designed specifically for the store. Not only does this allow users to see clear pricing details, they can also check nutritional information and other data before they decide to add it to their cart.
This enables customers to see a running total of their grocery bill, eliminating sticker shock at the register and preventing cashier error (e.g., scanning one item multiple times). Other advantages include being able to link the customer’s loyalty card to the app, so users never have to worry about not getting all their discounts.
Near Field Communication chips are embedded in an increasing number of high-end smartphones in the US (though it is notably absent from the iPhone 5). However, the implementation of products and services has been far slower than the rollout of hardware.
Walmart is currently testing a similar service at stores in and around its headquarters, but it requires users to scan items with an iPhone camera, which takes more time, and it also requires users to pay with traditional cash or credit card methods at the front registers. Clearly this trend is going somewhere, though. It’s just going to take a while to there.
via NFC World