Jan 15th, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

Near Field Communication Was Not Built For Big Hands

Near Field Communication (NFC) looks so svelte on the commercials. Samsung has a way of portraying Apple products as obtuse in contrast to Android Beam that seamlessly transfers files on the fly by merely touching phones back to back. There’s something particularly sexy about shooting files by touching your phone with, uh, some other guys phone to do it… transfer files that is.

However, friends and neighbors, there’s an epidemic of sorts that the makers of NFC have failed to account for: gigantic, incredibly sexy man-hands.

How was near field communication supposed to work on these mitts?

I always knew my hands were equally a curse and a blessing. I never knew whether girls were after my intellectually simulating Android-centric talking points or after my manly, lumberjack-like mitts. I’m aware that I’ve departed from the subject at hand (pun totally intended), but I think it’s a valid point.

The problem with near field communication is really the near part — your phones have to be touching for NFC to work. Touching is an imprecise word since there are so many degrees of it. In this case, touching with NFC feels more like the heavy petting of two people fumbling around in the dark for plastic on plastic action, just to be able to send a their latest Instagram photo to a friend.

And there’s the phones these days… they’re so thin! I’m sure they’re making them even more svelte-ish to make sure they fall out of my hand and force me to buy another one. You bastards

Stop making them unholdably-thin. Jerks.

An Observation On The Awkwardness of NFC

Alas my central thesis: NFC is awkward. This is especially relevant for Americans who require extraordinary amounts of space to conduct transactions. The real problem is the touching of the fingers. In between slim phones and fat fingers lies a nether region of raw, human touching that’s unavoidable if you genuinely want to use this technology for any purpose. Try to use it if you don’t believe me.

NFC feels like someone offering you a high five for your fist bump.

NFC can feel like that moment when someone gives you a high five as you give them a fist bump — it’s disjointed and silly. This is inherently part of the issue with something both so physical, public and precision based. Maybe if NFC worked without being so close or maybe if phones, in general, weren’t so awkward to hold then this wouldn’t be so bad.

The worst thing of all is that I like NFC; it really is easier than e-mailing or texting someone. But it’s just so damn awkward. Awkward in a way that isn’t conveyed through commercials and that you’ll only understand once you’ve used it yourself. If technology continues the way it usually does then the problem will only become worse as more phones come with NFC and they continue to become thinner and harder to hold.

Even if you don’t buy the awkward argument, it’s clear that NFC is absolutely disgusting. Everyone knows you love to browse Facebook while you take a shit; you’re not fooling anyone with your 25 minute hiatus in the middle of the work day. Right now the United States is embroiled in an armageddon-like flu outbreak that’s, basically, caused by people not washing their dirty hands.


Mix Us Up Something New

So, we’re in a time where every device is packed with wireless connectivity — some more or less appropriate for a task at hand. If I want to get online I’m using Wifi. Bluetooth is for streaming music. NFC has a funny place as the occasional payment processor at retail shops (although there aren’t many stores that support it) and a really awkward tool for transferring files to my friends whose finger tips I do not wish to touch.

All I’m asking for is something to streamline the process between all three and maybe make things a little less weird for us big handed guys.


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