As payment technology rapidly improves, the battle between Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Near Field Communication (NFC) rages on. Surprisingly, BLE has been around for almost 10 years, whereas NFC is a much newer technology for mobile media marketing. Both wireless innovations have advantages and many current applications.

BLE technology contains microchips that can wirelessly transmit data across shorter distances than WiFi, but farther than NFC. This technology has many advantages and is being used in healthcare, sports and fitness, and home entertainment.

There are several advantages that make this a viable option in many industries including:
• Compatibility with mobile devices and computers
• Low power requirements
• Small size

The first advantage is its compatibility with other devices. Given that most modern devices already have Bluetooth capability, this technology utilizes its full potential. The second benefit is the small chip that transmits information operates with extremely low power requirements. It is said the button cell that powers the chip can operate for months or even years without replacement.

Although the possibilities are endless, the following is a list of current applications of BLE technology:
• Adidas smart footballs and soccer balls – Sensors calculate distance traveled, speed and spin.
• Nike + FuelBand – This device contains BLE radio and communicates directly with a smartphone.
• Blood pressure cuffs – Can read your blood pressure and wirelessly transmit the information to a smartphone or other BLE-enabled device.
• Diabetic blood test kits – Measure the glucose in the blood and link data to a smartphone.
• Smart homes – Turn on lights and regulate room temperature.
• Door locks – Your smartphone can communicate with the doors to automatically lock.
• BLE in payment registers – Pay for products and services with the wave of a smartphone.

NFC technology contains microchips that have the ability to wirelessly transfer data across limited distances for mobile media marketing purposes.

There are many advantages to implementing and utilizing NFC technology including:
• Convenience
• Security
• Versatility
• Real-time updates

For the consumer, NFC technology offers the convenience of merging a wallet and mobile device. With a simple touch, customers can pay for a product or service. Password-protection of all accounts on your mobile device enhances security. For retailers, NFC delivers real-time mobile media marketing updates and related consumer engagement analytics.

When it comes to uses, the sky is the limit. Below is a list of the most common current applications of NFC-enabled devices. However, this technology has great potential which will enable innovative uses in the future.
• Payment – Pay with the tap of a phone.
• Rewards – Redeem coupons or rewards and add loyalty points.
• Instant product information – Tap a product to learn more about it.
• Turn on your computer when you arrive home – Tap an NFC tag when you first walk into your residence to automatically start the computer.
• Automatic launching of apps – As soon as you dock your smartphone, it can automatically launch apps like navigation in the car.
• Automate flight mode before bed – Simply place a tag on your nightstand to tap before bed so the phone eliminates incoming calls, texts or data feeds. Tap again in the morning to turn back on.
• Create a wireless mobile hotspot – Place a tag on your computer to use the data being transferred from your phone.