back to article Samsung Galaxy chip confusion halts bonking plastered apps

Samsung's Galaxy S4 flagship mobile can't grok data transmitted by stickers sold by Samsung to eager app makers. Electronics embedded in the labels fire out pre-programmed information when a compatible wireless NFC chip comes within range, and work with Samsung's Galaxy S3. But a new NFC chip in the S4 is incompatible with …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another technological advance that lacked practicality and staying power.

  2. Jim 48

    It looks like the Galaxy Nexus uses the NXP chip as well.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When lasers were invented in 1960

    they were called "a solution looking for a problem". The first use of lasers in the daily lives of the general population came with the supermarket barcode scanner, introduced in 1974.

    Sometimes things take a while to catch on.

    1. Great Bu

      Re: When lasers were invented in 1960

      But in fairness by 1976 they had one big enough to destroy Alderaan......

    2. Steve Todd

      Re: When lasers were invented in 1960

      They were used for industrial cutting by 1967.

      The problem for NFC is that, beyond mass transit tickets (London's Oyster card for example), no one has come up with a unique selling point for them. Wake us when they do.

      1. ratfox

        Selling point

        It seems good for instantaneous handshake between two devices. E.g telling a speaker system "play music from this phone" in a single bonk. Bluetooth can be set up using NFC and take over, but would be much more clumsy to set up by hand.

        1. Steve Todd

          Re: Selling point

          There are Bluetooth apps that do something similar without the need for NFC hardware. Your phone already has a G sensor, they use that to detect a bonk.

          Not good or unique enough. Next.

          1. ratfox

            Re: Selling point

            Yes, but do these Bluetooth apps know precisely which device you just bonked? Or do they display "we have scanned the surroundings for bluetooth devices and found three cell phones, two laptops, a television set, a pair of headphones and a sound system, which is it you wanted to bonk again?

            NFC seems to have solved this particular problem tight. So far I have never been able to use Bluetooth without a device selection screen.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Selling point

              If they have a directional bluetooth antenna they do.

              NFC "solves" the problem by being so short range (assuming you follow the spec and use low power) that if the G sensors detect a "bump" odds are high that the only thing you see is the thing you bumped. Try bumping a S3 against a second S3 with a third S3 a half inch away from both that bumps into something else and see if it is as guaranteed as you think it is, or it is only an artifact of NFC's shorter range as compared to bluetooth.

              This argument is rather like saying that wifi is superior to LTE because if you're on a given wifi network one can narrow down the location of a phone much better versus being on a particular LTE cell tower.

    3. MondoMan
      Thumb Up

      Re: When lasers were invented in 1960

      Actually, a laser was very publicly used already in 1964: by Goldfinger to threaten to cut Mr. Bond in two.

  4. Zola

    Engadget noticed too

    6 days before El Reg finally stumbled over it.

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. James Hughes 1

        Re: Engadget noticed too

        Actually I think we hit peak Reg about a year ago, quality of articles has noticeable declined since about then, although there are occasionally some decent ones. Seems the journo's are now more interested in catchy headlines, and continual puns in the text rather than, you know, actual decent and accurate writing.

        1. theblackhand

          Re: Engadget noticed too

          Rubbish. The Reg hit rock bottom around the turn of the century - the decline of the Reg was the real Y2K problem for IT.

          However, hitting rock bottom hasn't stopped them digging and I look forward to the Reg continuing the search for the real bottom...

          1. RyokuMas

            Re: Engadget noticed too

            Nah, the Reg hit rock bottom on Monday 3rd August 2009 06:33 GMT - or rather, it was dragged there...

  5. RyokuMas


    Sounds like trying to write a webpage that works with older versions of IE...

  6. James 51

    So as a standard NFC is up there with 4G?

  7. Simon Rockman

    The problem with automating things is malware

    When an S3 sees the NFC sticker it automatically opens the web page. If you were unscrupulous you could fill that page with malware. if you were really unscrupulous you could transmit the NFC signal at way over the specified power and every Android NFC equipped phone in range would become a target.

    Windows mobile asks before obeying an NFC signal.

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