But what is NFC ?
The Near Field Communication is also referred to as short distance wireless connection. This technology consists of a chip (radio-frequency identification tech) inserted in your mobile phone and linked to your SIM card. Via a tagging system, this device enables you to send and receive information, and even pay for things using your phone. In Roland Garros, over 100 billboards have a tag on display.
Merely by brushing your phone against one of these posters, you can know your exact location on site. A link towards the app store is also available, to get visitors to download the official Roland Garros 2012 app. But if you move within reach of the RG Lab poster, then you can discover all the demos taking place in the tournament partners’ corner.
But that’s not all ! Orange coaches are roaming around Roland Garros offering the fans a tour of the facilities and several demos of tomorrow’s technologies. And at the end of the tour, which I took part in, a break is in order so off we go to the bar to sip on a Roland Garros special, “the Ace”, which we obviously pay for using our NFC-equipped mobile phone. An extremely simple method of payment which is currently being tested in Nice and Strasbourg.
This technology is very promising and even the Japanese have decided to put aside their own methods of payment (requiring adding another application) to focus on this technology directly inserted inside the mobile device.
Following this demo, I finally understood that one mustn’t fear NFC. Indeed, as most people, I told myself : having everything in my mobile phone is great, but if it gets stolen, what do I do ? Actually, it’s quite easy : Cityzi, the service brand partner for NFC in France, can block and unblock any device in one phone call. So it turns out that it’s much safer than if you have your wallet and papers on you !
I could actually talk to you about this for hours, but I will conclude with these (wise) words : in Roland Garros, we get to discover players but we also get a glimpse of tomorrows breakthroughs in technology ! So, if you’re lucky enough to be in Roland Garros this week, why don’t you go for a walk with the coaches ? You won’t regret it !