RIM uses NFC for more than mobile payments with BlackBerry Tag

Summary:Other mobile manufacturers could learn a lesson from RIM when it comes to NFC technology.

Near field communications (NFC) technology is more well known these days for being the power that enables mobile payments on smartphones and other gadgets.

Research in Motion is planning to use NFC for a different purpose, which presumably RIM executives hope will give the BlackBerry an edge over the competition -- in one regard at the very least.

So welcome BlackBerry Tag, a new service for the purpose of sharing social media content and information via NFC with other BlackBerry users.

Yes, although it sounds like this might only be available for BlackBerry users, it sounds slightly reminiscent of when the PlayBook tablet launched. That device was basically only ready for existing BlackBerry phone owners who could make use of the BlackBerry Bridge software.

Arriving with BlackBerry OS 7, the first devices to make use of this feature will be the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 and BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360/9370.

But this actually fits more in line with one of RIM's better products over the years: BlackBerry Messenger. That one is only available for BlackBerry owners, and it has proven to be a staple for the brand. (If you know an avid BlackBerry user, then you know that he or she is addicted to BBM.) Additionally, BlackBerry Tag (BBT?) will also be integrated into BBM.

Thus, although it's debatable whether or not BlackBerry Tag could help sell devices the way that BBM has, it certainly has potential.

It's also smart of RIM to make use of NFC in another way besides mobile payments. Not only is the NFC structure not set up with merchants on the kind of widespread scale necessary before mobile payments becomes the norm, but now BlackBerry devices will be ready for them while making use of the technology at the same time.


Topics: BlackBerry, Banking, Enterprise Software, Mobility


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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