Why chips will matter more than ever..

I'll be honest, I may have drawn you in with the lure of chipped potatoes, all golden and sprinkled with salt and vinegar. Those aren't the chips I'm talking about.


The chips I'm blogging about are the electronic kind and are at the heart of something called Near-field communication or NFC.

Sitck with me on this one!

These little chips (and NFC) are already revolutionising how people buy stuff, including food.

I read last week that in Japan, 26 million customers of the country's largest mobile phone network are now subscribed to Osaifu-Keitai which loosely translates as "wallet mobile". This allows mobile users to use their mobile phone to pay for lots of things. 

Whether it's tickets for public transport, fares in taxis or food in supermarkets and restaurants, think of it as a portable debit card. That you can also ring people on.

The scheme in Japan rewards users with loyalty points for using their mobile in this way - they simply add credit to their phone and then "swipe" their phone against a scanner in the restaurant or shop to pay for the chosen item.

Nearer to home, the technology already exists for this system and financial institutions are getting ready to start handling these payments. It's predicted to be the next big thing in the mobile industry in years to come.

Great - just as I've managed to master one technology, along comes another.

But where near-field communication will really take off is when in the future, you pass by a shop or restaurant, your phone will be able to receive information about sales, discounts or special offers. Many of the major fast food chains in Europe are already installing the phone-readers in their restaurants in preparation for the scheme.

And we all know they like their chips.

So does this mean never-ending information on your mobile as you walk down a future street? Quite possibly. But indications are you will be able to select what information you want to get, and what you want to block.

Plus, this technology allows the possibility of being able to receive really precise, individual information so that people can be better informed before making a choice and spending their money. Who knows, food establishments might be able to tell you what healthy choices they have on their menu. 

I've waffled on too long.

And you thought this post was all about chips.

Enjoy your weekend and Valentine's Day too!


Posted: 11/02/2011 15:47:52 by Colman Kelly
Filed under: Shopping

About Me

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Colman Kelly
Hi, I’m Dermot Moriarty and I’m the communications manager for safefood. My background is in advertising & public relations and I work on our awareness campaigns, promotional activities and market research. I’m also an occasional blogger. In my spare time, I’m a fan of history books, sport and cooking (though not all at the same time) and am trying to get back into running. I live in Co. Dublin with my wife and two young boys who are growing up way too fast.