Unbuilt infrastructures

Samsung, one of the largest vendors of NFC-enabled mobile phones, unveils their new ‘Wallet’ app:

When we asked why Samsung did not include NFC tap-to-pay features in Wallet, the company said that retailers prefer barcodes over NFC because they don’t have to install any new infrastructure to support it.

The failure of NFC adoption summed up in one line.

NFC is still caught up in the paradox of launching into ubiquity, rather than looking at ad-hoc, domestic and self-contained products or alternative infrastructures. Visions of NFC services still rely on unbuilt infrastructures, overlooking the potential for bootstrapping on small, satisfying interactions and behaviours in products that people might actually want in their lives. More small bits loosely joined, less cathedral and more bazaar.


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