September 04, 2014
Magnetic strips on bank cards have revolutionized payment processes, but a new type of magnetic technology is helping customers track and shop for every day necessities.
Payments and transactional services provider Worldline recently introduced a fridge magnet that has high tech abilities, including a feature allowing consumers to scan product barcodes to add items to their shopping lists automatically, NFC World+ reported. To enhance regular fridge magnets that are typically made of permanent magnets or other types, the Worldline fridge magnet called Connected Kitchen is built for tech savvy consumers in mind.
Near field communication (NFC) capabilities that allow various devices to essentially talk with one another wirelessly is becoming a popular feature for today's technologies because it makes payments easier and allows companies to interact with customers.
In an interview with NFC World+, Herault Colombe, research and development engineer at Worldline?, said the Connected Kitchen magnet can be linked to the company's cloud services via customers' Wi-Fi network to create shopping lists. The device doesn't need a separate application to use this technology because it contains a 2D barcode reader built-in as well as a microphone to operate its barcode scanning and voice recognition features. Users simply need to press the buttons to activate these options and the magnet makes the device handy around the house.
"The device is always on the fridge; the customer decides to eat a product, for example a pizza," Colombe told NFC World+. "They take it out of the fridge. As they know they want to buy another one for next week, they add it to their shopping list."
Planning for growth in NFC market
As businesses try to make their products more interactive with customers, they may want to develop new ways to use permanent magnets to enhance their NFC technology. The market for NFC is projected to increase at an average rate of 35 percent between 2011 and 2016, according to a report by Markets and Markets.
The biggest markets for NFC chips are expected to center in North America and Europe with these regions accounting for more than 60 percent of the NFC chip market share. In addition to chips, applications for NFC are anticipated to see market growth.
"Currently, the near field application market constitutes a smaller group of players," the Markets and Markets report said. "As the market for these applications will grow, it is expected that more number of industry players will increase their involvement."