Mobile devices are rapidly becoming the standard access point for digital services and information*. Screens are getting bigger, applications are offering more functionality, the ubiquity of data and wireless networks means that there is a growing number of services available through the standard mobile phone. However, as the number of functions and services increase, so does the complexity, and ease of use is now a limiting factor for the further development of mobile devices.
In the midst of all this d evelopment, there is a technology that has the potential to make things simpler for the user: Near Field Communication (NFC)*. NFC is a radio-technology that enables connections between mobile phones and digital tags attached to real-world objects: bridgi ng the gap between the real and the virtual.
NFC offers the possibility of radically simplify existing applications and providing an entirely new spectrum of services. This has significant potential to drive innovation in areas such as retail, marketing, and public services, and offers strong potential for emergent social and communicative uses.
Touch investigates these intersections between digital and physical objects by bringing together expertise from a number of industries and institutions in Norwa y and abroad. The project is multi-disciplinary, involving the fields of mobile technology, ICT, interaction design, industrial design, urbanism and anthropology. It will deliver several critical publications, application prototypes, test results and reco mmendations for shared platforms.
By adopting a user-centred approach and focusing on the social motivations behind the use of technology, the project has strong creative, commercial and innovation potential.