If you are traveling with Deutsche Bahn, the little blue boxes you might already have noticed that too on the platforms and on the stairways are found. They belong to the project “Touch & Travel”, which went into trial operation in 2008.
The principle: instead of before each train journey to buy a ticket, get in touch with the user journey on a “Touch Points” on – and at the end of the trip at the destination station again. The technology behind it is Near Field Communication (NFC) is called. What sounds so nondescript, quite has the potential to revolutionize the communication between man and machine.
Wireless data exchange
If NFC is a wireless transmission technology which allows contactless data exchange at a distance of up to four centimeters. The foundation for the technology was developed in 2002 by Philips subsidiary NXP and Sony.
The typical application for NFC is the exchange of information between two devices. Currently, NFC is primarily used for cashless payment and mobile tickets. Currently, the technology still has weaknesses, including a lack of clear standards and a comprehensive integration of NFC in mobile devices. Because so far mainly support Android smartphones, the technology, Apple completely waives the installation of NFC chips in its iPhones.
The low dissemination of NFC technology was one of the main problems with which the railway had to contend with Touch & Travel, says Birgit Wirth of the Deutsche Bahn. It was found that the technology spread not as good as the industry thought: “That’s why we also check in via GPS and barcodes built into the system,” says Wirth
According to the company currently use 95 percent of the Touch & Travel customers the service via a special app and GPS location, only 5 percent goes to the originally planned route through the NFC contact points, barcodes or by entering the touchpoint number at the stations. “NFC technology will only spread if there are applications for it – just this is not sufficiently the case.” Says Wirth
This all the more surprising when one the areas of application for NFC considered. With NFC you can open or obtain information such as timetables locally doors. The chip also can act as a digital ticket or cashless payment option.
latter make many banks and lending institutions advantage – but especially in countries where credit cards are more widespread than in Germany. The system is called at all different financial institutions, savings banks and cooperative banks call it girogo, at MasterCard PayPass states, with Visa payWave.
The principle is the same everywhere: The NFC chip allows payments of up to EUR 25, which can be made without a PIN query. In contrast to the usual cash card function, however,
As of January 1 must not be expected mechanical contact problems., 2015 have newly installed POS systems that support MasterCard, be equipped with NFC. MasterCard wants to promote contactless payment – given the low prevalence and absence of technical options rather a desperate attempt to make the system more popular. Currently there are estimated to only five percent of all master card terminals NFC-capable.