If you think whipping out your phone, searching for a venue and then tapping the "Check In" button on Foursquare is a tiresome waste of several seconds, you're in luck. Like so many other things in life, the Foursquare check-in promises to be simplified by NFC technology, allowing us to simply wave our phones to automatically check into a venue.
Of course, mainstream adoption of NFC is at least a few years away, but owners of Symbian-powered phones can get started thanks to a new update to the Foursquare app for the platform.
To enable NFC-powered check-ins, establishments need to display a sign or poster containing an NFC tag that points to their venue's Foursquare listing URL. Nokia's developer blog has some resources on getting started with NFC tags.
Signs like this not only enable people to check-in with less effort, but can also provide a visual, real-world call to action. For non-power users of location services like Foursquare, it can be pretty easy to simply forget to check in to a restaurant or other local business. Having that sign hanging there can provide a mental trigger. Business owners can also use the opportunity to push promotions and deals, offering discounts or free products to the mayor or anybody else that checks in.
Admittedly, the average person has no idea what NFC is right now. But it's almost universally predicted to reach mainstream adoption within a few years, quite possibly replacing our wallets and keys at some point in the future. NFC is already included on a number of Android-powered handsets and is rumored to be coming to the iPhone 5 next year.
Are you excited about the prospect of checking in by waving your phone, or do you think this propels laziness to new and unprecedented heights? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.