The analysts are forecasting a big year for NFC (near-field communication) in 2014, but I say simply look around. This trend is evident in the fact that NFC is everywhere we go. Case in point: New Year’s Eve.

In Sydney, Australia, residents will be kicking off the New Year with connectivity. A mobile app is available to the public that uses NFC and allows users to connect with family and friends at midnight. Talk about a staying connected!

More so, celebrators can also submit a text message through the app for the opportunity to have it projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge pylons during the night’s festivities.

How do you get this app? It is easy. Roughly 1,100 phone boxes and lanyards (worn by retail staff at Telstra stores) have been ‘tapified,’ as Telstra says. Residents simply need to tap an NFC-enabled smarphone to download the app.

I am excited to see this display of NFC so open and readily available to the public. More than a year ago I had an opportunity to try out Samsung TecTiles—and I was pretty excited to trial sticker-sized NFC in my own home. At the time, I concluded it was fun to configure these tags and place them around my home—but it does take some creativity on the part of the user what you use the TecTile for because the options are almost limitless.

Well, I am happy to say since that time multiple industries—think retail, food and health, industrial and medical, and more—are beginning to implement NFC for the consumer. All you have to do is interact!

Beyond the New Year’s example, a more common example you may come in contact with in 2014 is in the retail sector. No, I am not just talking about at the register with mobile payments. The retail industry has a big opportunity to incorporate NFC in product labels, interactive displays, smart posters, loyalty cards, and more. Consider this: With the tap of your phone on a product label you could receive nutritional information, recipes, and coupons. Now, that would be valuable to an on-the-go consumer.

And this is certainly just one example of where you may encounter NFC in 2014. Keep your eyes peeled. I do believe we will see more NFC all around us in the year ahead.

Interested in learning more about NFC and interacting with it? Join me at the 2014 Connected World Conference in February where we will explore a new world of technology, including NFC, as we display tags that attendees can tap throughout the conference.

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