It appears that Google has come up with a way to make NFC (Near Field Communications) a bit more useful to Android users while the world waits for more payment terminals to show up in stores that can accept the technology.
Called Android Beam, this new technology will allow two Google phones equipped with NFC and Ice Cream Sandwich to send information to one another in the blink of an eye. Once you pair the two devices with one another, all you need to do is put them back-to-back, tap the screen on the phone of the person who is sending the information, and presto-changeo, the same info will appear on the receiver’s screen. During the demonstration in Hong Kong we say it work for web pages and maps, but one of the most impressive things was sharing the information of an app.
Using TechnoBuffalo’s favorite game, Minecraft, they demoed how someone playing the game could put their handset against another Galaxy Nexus, tap the screen and the receiver was taken to the apps page in the Android Market. No more trying to remember the exact name of the app, no more having to write it down: Touch phones, tap the screen and you’re done.
Of course all of thise requires NFC and Ice Cream Sandwich, but it’s still a pretty interesting new use of NFC that could show a ton of promise.
What do you think of Android Beam so far?