Alongside the persistent rumours of an Apple iPhone with an RFID/NFC reader (and our own experiments with iPhone NFC interactions) it seems that Google is really beginning to push for NFC as part of its Android operating system and hardware guidelines.
In the recent “Conversation with Eric Schmidt” with John Battelle and Tim O’Reilly at the Web 2.0 Summit 2010, there is a good deal of discussion about the use of NFC in mobile devices. Right at the start of this video there is a demo of as-yet-unannounced Google device with an NFC ‘secure element’ chip, that interacts with a physical Google ‘placemark’.
While this demonstration is basic, and doesn’t actually go much further than what we are already used to with GPS and wifi positioning, it is quite exciting that a platform like Android might open up an open platform for physical-world interaction. I’d really like to see the possibility of actually implementing commercial apps and services that are more about our interaction and engagement with the physical world rather than the screen.