Communication let me down
And I'm left here
Communication let me down
And I'm left here

With those visionary words, poetic maestros, Spandau Ballet, first firmly identified the problem with Near Field Communication - not all smartphones want to sing along.

It was all well and good letting your Android phone get up-close-and-personal with the pages of a book – triggering new worlds to explore and bringing pages to life in almost limitless ways… but if your iPhone didn’t want to join in, then it was all going to feel like a sad single’s night, when only boys had been invited.

First it was certainly going to be in the iPhone 5, now the unannounced 5S will definitely have it. As Freddie Mercury sang so presciently:

Like some mother-in-law in her nylon tights
They're always
Coming soon

(It would be wise to say at this point that wrapping your phone in man-made fibres might severely restrict its uses, but… those little NFC chips will happily carry on communicating – surely another plus point?)

We’ve heard that the industry might have another solution – one, we believe was predicted by American rapper Wale,

On my way back home
Now I'm in the zone
My SIM card's the bomb
They blowing up my phone” 


Clearly the potentially more destructive properties of NFC have since been dropped, but this merely illustrates how quickly these ideas develop. An NFC chip on your SIM card – making the technology device independent? The genius that is undoubtedly Ralph Folarin.

Why not ask us to show you what we’re doing with this amazing technology? No apps to download, just place a well chosen smart phone within a certain distance of an NFC chip and voila - communication, content, data.  We can show you how you can use the technology to animate your book, talk to your readers and even have information passed back to the publishers. (And I should add that we can source these little French Fries of the chip world at a third of the price you’ll be reading about elsewhere)

But if Spandau Ballet, residents of my hometown of Muswell Hill, first saw the problem, it was Muswell Hill’s most famous sons who first saw the light, back in 1990.

Darlin', darlin', I can't communicate to you without
Crying, crying, I can't get a message through
How do I get close to you?
How can I get close?
How can I get close?
Darlin', darlin', how do I get close to you when you're
surviving surviving in a world that's making us confused
Guess I'm afraid of losing you.
In this world without feeling.

Somehow we gotta stay close.

The Kinks – gods of the Near Field Revolution.


Simon Rosenheim, Director, iBiblios