Japan gets NFC tag-equipped movie posters

Hitachi, security solutions provider Gemalto, NTT Data and Japan’s No. 3 mobile phone carrier SoftBank joined forces in the development of the so-called smart poster system [JP], which makes it possible to transmit information to cell phone users from movie posters.

The system is currently being tested in Chiba (east of Tokyo) and uses Near Field Communication (NFC) as the underlying technology. Users just have to stand near the digital posters (with NFC tags built in) to receive screenshots or trailers onto their NFC-enabled handsets. The phones must also have the MasterCardPayPass application installed.

Currently, the usual method of providing such information to Japanese consumers is to let them tap their phones against QR codes (2D bar codes) to receive a URL to a web site with relevant content. SoftBank’s new approach, however, makes it possible to directly transmit content to people interested in a certain movie.

It is the first time NFC technology is used for providing information to end users in Japan. The test ends October 31.