BLE vs. NFC Infographic

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) has repeatedly been touted an NFC killer in the ongoing debate about suitable technologies for physical mobile interaction (PMI). Here’s an infographic comparing BLE and NFC.



One in ten say they have an NFC phone

The number of consumers with an NFC phone has doubled since 2012 according to Deloitte‘s third annual Global Mobile Consumer Survey, with 10% of 37,600 consumers surveyed in 20 countries saying they know that they have the technology embedded in their smartphone. 62% say they do not and 28% do not know if their phone has NFC or not.”

read on at

Just over a third of British adults (35%) are aware of NFC-enabled mobile devices, with 9% saying they know that their personal device is NFC-enabled and 22% of those having used NFC to make a payment, a YouGov survey of 1,501 people has found.”

read on at 


A finger-tip sized, Arduino compatible, Bluetooth LE enabled microcontroller.

Bluetooth LE

Bluetooth LE (BLE) seems to be all the rage right now with many proclaiming it an NFC killer and the future of both, indoor positioning and pervasive service interaction. Key in this context are BLE “beacons” that broadcast information about an object or place. Mobile devices pick up this information and – via signal strength – can estimate how close they are to a beacon. By triangulating closeness to a few beacons, devices can then calculate their position in space. Furthermore closeness information can be used in the context of proxemic interaction [1], where devices display different information and interaction options depending on how close you are to a point of interest.

[1] Check out the Jan-Feb 2011 issue of Interactions Proxemic Interactions: The New Ubicomp?

Some BLE beacons available today:

estimote estimote2




ap ap2


NFC luggage tags


“Using the British Airways mobile app, passengers will be able to hold their NFC phone to the reusable luggage tag to automatically update its e-ink display with a tracking barcode, flight details and an easy-to-see view of the bag’s destination. Customers can then have their electronic tag scanned at the bag drop, going straight through security.”

Source: NFC World

Dynamic NFC screens coming of age

NFC video screen
via Think & Go unveils NFC video screen • NFC World.

Five years after Robert Hardy and Enrico Rukzio researched mobile interaction with dynamic displays and NFC meshes, commercial applications are finally beginning to emerge: Think & Go NFC have just launched Dynamic NFC-Screen, a combined video display and smart poster that enables consumers to interact with promotional and informational videos. Below is an illustration from Hardy & Rukzio’s original paper:

Hardy and Rukzio (2008)

Hardy, R. and Rukzio, E. (2008). Touch & Interact : Touch-based Interaction of Mobile Phones with Displays. Proceedings of Mobile HCI 2008, pp. 245–254