NFC is the Future

NFCOne of the next big innovations in the mobile space that will quickly impact the travel industry is the inclusion of the near field communications chipset in smartphones. NFC technology could easily replace the need for hotel room keys and with this technology we could even see a fully self-serve hotel check-in process being done completely through a guests' mobile device.

That’s the opinion of Robert Dawson VP of Sabre Hospitality Solutions.

Additionally NFC-enabled phones have the ability to interact with everything from billboards to business cards. This technology could be leveraged to bring inanimate items throughout the hotel to life by providing real-time data and updates to a mobile device by simply swiping it passed the NFC embedded items.

“In my opinion the strategic alignment of the company's website and mobile initiatives need to be tied together at the hip. As we strive for a device agnostic model for all things mobile, the strategic value of the mobile solutions should be driven from what is being developed for the website. Budgets will need to increase and the marketing objectives altered to understand the needs of users on smaller devices, however, the core strategy for mobile needs to remain in line with the overall branding and marketing messages that has already been established for the brands DOT COM site.

“I feel that developers like us are going to have to take on this responsibility by making mobile solutions that are device agnostic. By developing a content delivery system that can easily adapt in real-time is no longer going to be a nice to have. Content is dynamic and diverse and the technology in the mobile space is actually stepping up to the challenge. With HTML5 and advances in CSS, a real-time dynamic content delivery system is actually achievable. The challenge for developers is how quickly this technology evolves and getting mobile device makers to agree on a set of standards.

“The great thing about HTML5 is that it is a support standard that is backed by The World Wide Web Consortium. With their backing and support every browser worth installing, mobile or otherwise, understands the needs to comply with the W3C's standards. The challenge is that HTML5 standards can't carry the innovation needed for the future of mobile browsing on its back. It needs help from other technologies in the space. CSS, JavaScript and even Flash technologies all play an important role in defining the future of HTML5 and in particular its role in mobile. I do believe HTML5 is here to stay and it will be a critical part of our computing and mobile experience.

“For example, our development team is charged with thinking of what the mobile web experience will be like in 3-5 years from now. Don't just develop solutions for today's technology. This is where innovation and out of the box thinking is required. However, there needs to be a balance to ensure your solution adheres to the predefined standards.

Ultimately, I strongly believe both can be achieved with thoughtful planning, having properly funded initiatives, and having a keen eye to where the technology is headed.