Apple has been noticeably reluctant to bring near-field communication technology (better known as NFC) to the iPhone and iPad, but now one company hopes to beat Apple to it.
Flomio, a startup that provides a platform for developers to build NFC and RFID-enabled apps, has launched a Kickstarter campaign to develop a dongle for iOS devices called the FloJack that would bring NFC payments to the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch for the first time.
The FloJack is described as a pocket-sized NFC reader and writer that plugs into iOS devices through the headphone jack — similar to the dongle that works with Square. With FloJack attached, the iOS device will be able to communicate wirelessly with other devices around it. NFC technology is typically thought of in the context of enabling mobile devices to transit payments, but Flomio is focused on other features.
In addition to FloJack, the company has an app called Flomio NFC Actions, which lets users customize actions they’d like to perform between devices. For example, you can set up a trigger that automatically sends your friends directions or exchanges contact information on the go.
This isn’t the first time Kickstarter has come to the rescue to solve a problem Apple is reluctant to take on. Earlier this year, there was another campaign for a special iPad keyboard case called Brydge that effectively transforms the device into a true laptop.
So far, Flomio has raised just more than $18,000 on Kickstarter out of its total goal of $80,000, with 15 days to go.