New Brunswick outfit ZapTap have big plans for bringing near-field communication (NFC) to the populous. Using specially designed tags, ZapTap allows consumers to interact with products using their NFC-enabled smartphones.
NFC is a form of radio frequency I.D. (RFID), with a very limited range (less than 5 inches). This limited range means that users are able to decide whether they want to interact with a product or not, which is a definite boon for consumers. Imagine picking up a bottle of wine, scanning the shelf, and being informed on it’s origins, pairings, and reviews? How about seeing a product walk-through video, or receiving targeted, real-time alerts about current sales or deals?
Yan Simard, CEO of ZapTap, feels the idea will take off. “Zaptap has an app to make shopping "more intelligent. Shoppers can tap their smartphone on a special tag to pull up information, from wine parings to reviews, on the product they're looking at. All they need is a phone with near field communication, something built into most next-generation smart phones.” ZapTap can also make use of traditional QR-code technology, so NFC need not be a necessity.
There are some added benefits for merchants making use of the technology. ZapTap360 is a dashboard web-app that provides merchants with real-time information on their ZapTap products. Scans per item, location, and user information can all be culminated into an easy to read display. ZapTap will even allow direct communication with customers, such as help with a product, or getting something from the warehouse. If the consumer wants to, there is even the possibility of social-media integration, which could mean big things to a company looking to improve brand recognition.