The 50k Pixel TV: Thoughts on NFC Capabilities


Fifty thousand pixels doesn’t sound like that many – that’s just 2.5% of a full HD picture – but a fifty-thousand pixel TV could be magical. The opening and closing ceremonies in London just proved how magical it can be by hard wiring each seat, but NFC could let you do it much more easily!

Imagine if you permanently placed NFC SmartPoster tags on every seat in a stadium. With just a hover of your BlackBerry® smartphone over that tag, a huge array of content and services could be available to your event attendees.

Two pieces would build the deployment, NFC tags and a web server. The tags would be mounted on or near the seat and they wouldn’t have to hold much data. A URL containing the venue and the seating information would be enough. For example:

The web server would contextually redirect or fulfill a user’s browser’s request, depending on events that were currently underway. The content of that URL would be in no way static!

If you visited this URL when there was no event occurring, you could show a map highlighting where that seat is. Who is mayor of this seat? Famous people who’ve sat here? How often do fly-balls get caught here? You would even be able to see the view that seat offers. Interactive 3D graphics from the correct point of view related to the game could be shown to a user. (Anyone familiar with the cricket infographics showing where each 4 and 6 was hit during an inning? You could bring it to a whole new level of involvement.) During a sporting event, information as typical as roster information could be a basic offering – but you could alter the content to make it seat specific.

Do you need a drink or assistance to leave your seat? Those could be requested from the same web page. (Steps taken to ensure event participation or attendance would be needed here – but if you used NFC ticketing to enter the event, you’re already done!)

Your BlackBerry smartphone has your exact location – but where’s my buddy Kev? I was sure he was sitting in section 6… If Kev allowed his seating information to be shared when he buzzed in, your smartphone could show you where Kev is seated in relation to you, or even guide you there. The venue could also have way-point tags mounted in the aisles and hall ways – perhaps a ‘convention center’ mode for easy stall mapping?

Back to the 50k Pixel TV

Everything above is dependent on the smartphone screen being aimed at you. People at concerts already hold up their phones – the web page you hit from buzzing into the concert via NFC could be just a single color. And when 50,000 people hold out their phones, those colors will merge into something visceral. The whole crowd could be glowing purple, or those screens could form a giant image.

There’s nothing stopping you from making that image dynamic. (OK, maybe the available bandwidth of the neighboring cell network is a limitation — you don’t want everyone in the stadium trying to access the web at the same time!) Making the color change in sync with the concert to form pictures and video will give you an immersive, living and dynamic 50k pixel TV!

For Users Without NFC

Static information like a seat number doesn’t need to be presented with NFC. Scanning a bar code could achieve the same result. Entering your seat number into your device manually would do the same. Hovering then hitting the web is a smoother user experience.

What Can YOU Build?

If you know exactly where a user is in a large 3D space and all that they have to do is hover their phone to engage with you – what can you build for them? Let us know your ideas in the comments.

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