Apple’s support of QR codes & NFC tags will help grow IoT ecosystem.
June 19, 2017
Apple is making access to internet-of-things experiences easier for iPhone users. Starting with iOS 11, iPhones can activate Near Field Communication (NFC) tags and launch QR codes to discover content and interactions, joining Bluetooth beacons as “gateways” to the mobile web.
Apple quietly announced the added support in June, during the Keynote Address of its developer’s conference (fast-forward the video to 1:32:47). Both QR and NFC were part of a slide that showed 59 new features that are expected to be part of iOS 11, which was released earlier this fall. QR code support also appeared atop a list that highlighted updates for users in China.
By adding QR codes and NFC tags, Apple is helping to grow the ecosystem for the internet of things, which is the network of connected things or devices. These are all the “smart” things, from phones to refrigerators to city parking meters. QR codes, NFC tags, and Bluetooth beacons serve as gateways to the mobile by utilizing the common URL. The more smartphone operating systems, mobile apps, and browsers that can discover these gateways, the easier it becomes for anyone to quickly access useful digital content during real, physical world moments.
Apple’s support creates a rich opportunity for brick-and-mortar brands, organizations, and marketers. And with the Phy platform, a physical-to-mobile content-management system, you can easily connect physical things and places to multiple content elements, making anything, anywhere “smart.”
Improved phone cameras and direct access to QR codes from popular apps have helped drive this renaissance. QR codes also provide a fast, easy gateway to the mobile web. In iOS 11, the QR code feature can be toggled on and off, but it is on by default. People will be able to point their iPhone cameras at QR codes and see a notification, which the user can take action on or not. For example, if the QR code is for a website, the user can tap the notification to open in Safari. QR codes in iOS 11 can also launch web-based interactions like live chat support, in-store e-commerce and more, all while eliminating the need for a separate app to scan the code. Of course, Phy’s unique multi-stage CMS will enable you to any and all of the above actions with the single scan of a QR code.
The magic touch of NFC tags.
Meanwhile, proponents of NFC tags, like Lisa Seacat Deluca, technology strategist for IBM Commerce, rejoiced Apple’s decision and is excitedly looking forward to “all the retail and commerce use cases where NFC is going to change the world.” With the activation of NFC tags being a simple touch from a smartphone, it fully complements other digital gateways: QR codes (visual) and Bluetooth beacons (wireless).
NFC tags don’t require batteries. Instead, they get their power from the electromagnetic field gateway where touch is the most appropriate for the subject or environment.
Our platform makes this easy.
While QR codes, NFC tags, and Bluetooth beacons each have their own unique user experience, these all can all be managed in a single physical-to-mobile platform to work more effectively with each other. With our platform, you can deliver easy-to-manage, dynamic and browsable content at any – or all – of these gateways. This gives your users super-fast previews of relevant selection of websites, videos, promotions, and expert interactions like live chat. Moreover, this experience of browsing the real, physical world can be installed into any app with only a few lines of code.
Apple is moving to bridge the physical and digital worlds with its support for QR codes and NFC tags. People already use their smartphones when they want to learn, do or buy something, and iOS 11 will give millions of iPhone users immediate access to the internet of things. We’re thrilled about the changes Apple is bringing to the iPhone. But we’re happier still about how well our customers are positioned to take advantage of an expanded IoT ecosystem.