The Near (Field) Future is in Our Hands
I was at the MPA Digital: Technology conference yesterday held in the Time Life Building. It was a fun, fact-filled day about almost everything you can do digital with magazines. I sat next to a woman from Family Circle on one side and a tech guru guy from American Media on the other. From my perspective they both enjoyed the show, too, but from clearly different perspectives. As the only known futurist in the room that I was aware of, I was sitting there projecting and added up all the sessions, data links, tools, solutions, challenges, TAGs and monetizations. The end result is a clear path to see exactly where our industry is going.
One of the sessions was titled What's Next in Near Field Communication. It was moderated by my friend Mark Janot, the Editorial Director of the Bonnier Technology Group. Near Field Communications is discussed briefly in this article, but in short, it is a computerized, two way, RFID chip located in your cell phone that gives the consumer the ability to use their cell phone and our capitalistic imaginations to lock or unlock doors, start their car, use as a train or plane ticket, log into a PC, enter a building, purchase damn near anything or -- get this -- buy a magazine.
As I would expect from Mr. Wizard (Mark), he asked one of the most intelligent questions of the day, "Can I finally find out who my newsstand readers are?" The answer is a reserved yes. The consumer will have the right to inhibit what data he or she is willing to release on a "TAP it" purchase. (That is a new Bo-made expression for a Tap and Purchase transaction). At long last science will give the printed magazine the possibility of finding out who our newsstand readers really are. It can and will all go much deeper than that, but for now, just ponder the possibilities of owning that kind of new data—data we never had before. The possibilities are endless.