Google Promoting NFC In Portland

Last week I wrote about Google’s push of Near Field Communications (NFC), particularly with the release of the Nexus S. NFC supports short range radio communication so you can simply place the phone near the radio, which is very small, and communication occurs without any action on the user’s part. One of the ways that NFC can be used is by placing the radios on posters and stickers, which is how Google plans to use the technology in Portland.

To market their new Hotspot local recommendation engine, Google is providing free kits to businesses that include window decals. People with phones that support NFC, like the Nexus S, can obtain more information about the business by simply placing the phone near the decal.

Part of the marketing effort is getting businesses in Portland to sign up for Google Places, which you can think of as Google’s answer to the Yellowpages. Businesses can directly place information like promotions and coupons on their places page, which people can discover when they open up the Places page. I believe the Places with those promotions will appear when you place the Nexus S on the Google Places decal. It will be interesting to see whether the idea of placing a phone near a sticker will take hold with consumers.