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NFC Gives Beacon Users New Options for Privacy



September 13, 2016

Article Co-Authored by Vince Coli

Beacons are great to deliver personalized content directly to your mobile device. But, the problem with Beacons is that personalization requires you to share personal data with the Beacon provider. Privacy concerns are raised if this is done without authorization. Without any mechanism for the user to "opt in," only generic information can be delivered via Beacons.

NFC requires an easy yet intentional user action ("tap" on the reader -- typically with your finger on the Home button). So, NFC is an excellent complementary technology to Beacons that you can "Tap" to share your identity and authorize the Beacon system to deliver personalized information.

Socket Mobile’s solution is the TouchPoint Getting Started App, which now supports the Deep Linking URL launch. This means another App can launch the TouchPoint App by issuing the URL for the TouchPoint App on the mobile device. You do this by adding Deep Linking URL launching support via “touchpoint://” (Note: To use this URL, remove the quotes and all text lower case) to another App, website, email, or any other link. 

If you have a specific requirement, please contact developer@socketmobile.com so we can discuss code changes to the handle URL function.

Several Beacons can be configured to personalize delivered content. But, one Beacon is configured to trigger our "Loyalty App," so that a scan or NFC action is performed to confirm user interest when this Beacon is encountered. Other Deep Linking URLs and added parameters to perform customized actions will be possible in the future. 

The iOS App is available on the Apple iTunes App Store at

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/touchpointgettingstarted/id1120225000

The Android App and other sample code are available at GitHub (github.com/socketmobile).

Please contact Vince Coli at vince@socketmobile.com if you are interested in joining the TouchPoint Developer Program.

- Vince Coli, Senior Product Manager