Infographic: Bluetooth vs. NFC wireless technologies
Apple launched iBeacon last year, an indoor position system that provides the location of iOS device users and enables push notifications, such as coupons, to be sent to the device. iBeacon, which employs Bluetooth low energy (BLE) wireless technology, could also enable mobile payments at the point of sale, making it a direct competitor to near field communications (NFC) technology.
But as Cary Stemle with Mobile Payments Today argues, BLE and NFC have different use cases. For one thing, BLE's range is a few feet, while NFC's range is just inches.
"A BLE beacon is great for passively enabling a retailer's mobile app to deliver promotions, coupons or offers direct to the consumer's smartphone when the consumer is in the general vicinity. NFC can't do that. But if you want to research a specific Nikon SLR, for example, you can scan an NFC-enabled shelf tag next to it and study to your heart's content. BLE can't deliver that much location granularity," Stemle writes.
Mobile Payments Today, along with Retail Customer Experience and Pyrim Technologies, have put together this Infographic comparing the two technologies. Pyrim is a provider of NFC-based products, so it has an interest in portraying NFC in a positive light. With that caveat, the Infographic provides an informative side-by-side comparison of the two wireless technologies.
Check out the full-size Infographic here.