RIM shows off tap-to-share feature for NFC BlackBerrys

BlackBerry Tag coming soon to NFC handsets...
Written by Natasha Lomas, Contributor

BlackBerry Tag coming soon to NFC handsets...

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 will be first to support BlackBerry TagPhoto: Jo Best/silicon.com

RIM co-CEO Jim Balsillie has demoed a contactless content-sharing system running on NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphones.

NFC, or near-field communications, is a short-range wireless technology that enables a device to transmit data to a reader. Uses for NFC include contactless ticketing and payments.

RIM's contactless sharing system, called BlackBerry Tag, will be rolled out with the next OS update to its BlackBerry 7 OS, the company said. It has not given a specific launch date - noting only that the update is "coming soon".

The tap-to-share system is similar to the Touchstone technology built into HP's TouchPad tablet and Pre3 smartphone. It will allow users of NFC BlackBerrys to share contact information, documents, URLs, photos and other multimedia content by tapping their smartphones together. BlackBerry Messenger users will also be able to add one another as contacts by tapping their smartphones.

RIM's smartphone portfolio currently includes two NFC-enabled handsets: the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and the BlackBerry Curve 9360. RIM said these two handsets will be the first BlackBerry smartphones to support BlackBerry Tag.

It added that it plans to open access to BlackBerry Tag via APIs on its OS platform, to allow third-party software developers to add tap-to-share functionality to their BlackBerry apps.

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