BlackBerry “Tag” Uses NFC to Share Contact Info, Media and More
RIM has unveiled a cool new service that will allow BlackBerry smartphone users to share contact information, multimedia and more with other BlackBerry owners, by simply tapping their NFC-enabled devices together.
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) today announced yet another way BlackBerry smartphones will employ Near Field Communications (NFC) in the future to wirelessly share data: BlackBerry “Tag.”
The BlackBerry Tag service will allow BlackBerry smartphone owners with NFC-enabled devices to tap their handhelds together to share images, contact information, documents, website URLs and even add new BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) contacts, via NFC. And it’s expected to be rolled out to compatible BlackBerry 7 smartphones via an OS update, though RIM did not specify when exactly the Tag update will become available.
Google recently unveiled its NFC-based Google Wallet payment service along with MasterCard, Citi and a handful of U.S. retailers. Though Google Wallet is only currently available on the Android mobile platform–and for just one handheld, the Samsung Nexus S–it could soon make its way to additional mobile platforms, including RIM’s BlackBerry OS, in the form of a Google Wallet application. RIM’s BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930, one of two available BlackBerry smartphones that supports NFC–along with the Curve 9350/9360/9370–has already been approved by MasterCard for use with its mobile payments systems.
However, even though RIM has released a handful of BlackBerry smartphones that support NFC, no U.S. carriers have enable the functionality as of yet. NFC will presumably be activated via future software updates, as more NFC-based services become available.
RIM also said that it will release a set of developer APIs for BlackBerry Tag that will allow software developers to incorporate “tap to share” features and functionality in their applications.
Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.