Apple unveiled 3 new products and several newly integrated technologies at their launch event on 9th September. The iPhone 6 is bigger than any previous model and the 6 plus is even bigger still. Both new phones manage to be slimmer than any previous incarnations while also sporting some slick new features. However, it was the Apple Watch that really stole the show at the launch event – despite U2’s Bono attempt to.
Unsurprisingly the wrist-sized personal computer doesn’t offer all of the same functionality as the iPhone, which it must be used with, but Apple have still crammed the best features into a timepiece since the Swiss decreed birdsong should be heard at hourly intervals.
While stopping short of a cuckoo, Apple have integrated NFC technology into the Apple Watch as well as the new iPhones. It is understood that Apple will not immediately release an SDK that allows 3rd parties to develop apps using the NFC functionality. Our guess is that they will wait a year or so, as they did with the fingerprint recognition technology, Touch ID.
In fact, Apple specifically referenced using NFC to unlock hotel doors at Starwood resorts suggesting that Apple will initially grant specific partners access to the chip. This opens a much bigger door to a huge number of potential uses at live events and conferences.
Here’s 6 ways we see NFC in the Apple Watch revolutionising events:
- Check In & Access Control – Arrive at your event and no more queues at the reg desk, simply tap your Watch on the reader at the entrance and instantly check in and/or register your attendance. This part of the technology could also be used to allow access to VIP areas or to monitor attendance at specific seminars.
- Instant Content Collection – Want to collect the speaker’s slideshow PDF, an exhibitor’s sales pack, another attendee’s business card or even a YouTube video or voucher. Smart badges and wristbands are already doing this, but the Apple Watch could provide a reusable collection device already in the possession of event attendees.
- Data & lead capture – Bye bye barcodes? Exhibitors could scan an attendee’s wrist to gain their contact details. What’s more, as NFC is two-way, they could do so with their own watch Apple Watch, iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 plus.
- Personalised Information Points – Whether it be your next scheduled seminar, what room you should be going to, or your table number for the evening’s dinner, a tap of your Apple Watch on an NFC enabled information point could bring up personalised info just for you: ensuring you’re in the right place at the right time.
- Social Media Amplification – If Apple allows a link-up between your social media accounts and the NFC technology soon you could be ‘Liking’ or retweeting real world objects with your timepiece. Renault did something similar for giving a Facebook thumbs up to their new cars at a Dutch motor show a few years back.
- Sponsorship Opportunities – As we in the events industry know, sponsorship is a huge part of organising events. Wearable technology will offer a whole new world of possibilities. From swipe points being branded to digital goody bags for Apple Watch wearers, there will be the chance to embrace the fun side of the new technology when it comes to sponsorship – for some awesome uses of RFID and NFC, check out our blog on the subject.
Much of this technology is already here of course. At Noodle Live we transform delegate badges into smart badges and offer most of the options above as part of one of our event app packages. If you’d like more information on this, or any of our event technology products, do get in touch – we’d love to hear from you!
About Noodle Live
Noodle Live is an event technology company based in London. We provide easy to use mobile apps, audience response apps and RFID technology for events and conferences, as well as offering free Event Tech Clinic workshops to event professionals and organisers.
This post was written by Thom Feeney, Marketing Manager at Noodle Live