In the United States, more than 40 million phones are expected to be NFC-enabled by the end of 2012 and according to a report by Market Research, nearly half of all mobile phones will be NFC enabled by 2016.
Data from independent research undertaken by Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies, Effective Management of Safe & Secure Openings & Identities, also unearthed that nearly half of all students identify their cell phones as their favorite personal electronic device. Almost half of all students are already using cell phone apps to make college life easier. Campus apps include managing class work, checking grades, communicating with their professors and receiving notifications and alerts. Blackboard is the students’ most popular. They are also using apps for the bookstore, bus schedule, maps and townie discounts.
“There are a great number of early adaptors in the college population that are already sold on cell phones being a credential, just like they were sold on the use of smart cards and biometrics previously,” emphasizes Beverly Vigue, Ingersoll Rand Security Technologies vice president of education markets. “This, of course, ties in nicely with the budding discussion of NFC (near field communication) which will inevitably end up on cell phones. No Visa card; no MasterCard card…only your cell phone will be needed for cashless payments or to show your identity.”
According to Vigue, there are currently very few phones in use with this capability, but the population is growing every month and the availability of these phones, and their infrastructures, should increase dramatically over the next couple of years. Many end-users are very excited about this new technology and its future use in the marketplace.
“It is important to understand that the solution is still in the testing phase and not yet ready for mass commercialization. Plus, it is hard to determine what the phone providers will charge for having this attribute,” Vigue warns. “Nonetheless, as with the use of smart cards and biometrics, the early adaptors will be on college campuses, ready to bring the technology to the commercial market along with themselves and their degrees upon graduation.”