Would you use Nokia's Treasure Tag?

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from  Arizona
| July 29, 2013

NFC is still a thing. It's a feature that manufacturers are still including in their phones. It's something that rumors and speculation, and even analysts, would have us believe Apple is "still considering" for their upcoming iPhones. While we may not hear about it a lot anymore, especially when it comes to things like NFC payment systems, it's still something that companies believe has a future spot in all of our lives at some point down the line.

You can tell that they all believe this because they keep including it in our phones. It's usually a feature, like in the Galaxy S 4, that you have to turn off, lest you want some angry-looking icon staring at you every day in your notification bar. I know a few people that use NFC, and like it. I know some who use it only when they have to. And I know some, like me, who just turn it off. Who, basically, just forget it's even an option.

For me, forgetting it's there on a daily basis is pretty easy, simply because in my day-to-day life NFC is never a part of it. I used to look for it. I used to try and find places where I could use it, but it never worked out. As I've said in the past, I live in a place that's just a bit behind everywhere else in terms of technological advances, so using NFC just isn't an option.

At least, not in that capacity.

There are other ways to use the technology, of course. Sharing things, for instance. You can also use NFC Tags, like what Samsung was promoting not too long ago, to make your phone react to a certain location, or place in your home, just by touching the tag. It's a cool idea, and hopefully Samsung is continuing to evolve the function for future devices, tags, and scenarios.

Nokia is looking to expand the other category when it comes to NFC usage, based on a new report making the rounds on the Internet. Our own Alex Wagner reported on what is being called a "Treasure Tag," via a story from The Verge. This tag utilizes both NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 (which Nokia-branded Windows Phone devices will be picking up thanks to the upcoming Amber software update -- some day) and you'll be able to attach it to something you think you might lose, like your keys for instance, all in the hope of finding whatever it is faster.

There will be a loop on the device, which you can attach to the easily lost item, or based on the image above, it looks like you'll be able to physically attach the tag to something as well. Whatever method you use, after you connect the Treasure Tag to your Lumia device via NFC, you'll be able to use the technology to easily find the lost item, thanks to a Treasure Tag app that Nokia is developing in tandem with the hardware. You'll be able to use a map, or even an augmented reality view to get a better grasp of where your item is.

The report also suggests you'd be able to find your phone, too, using the Tag, which is pretty cool. Losing a phone is never any fun, so having a device that can make it easier and fits in your pocket seems like it would be a dream come true for anyone who misplaces their device frequently.

If everything is eventual, then there's no reason to think that all this constant prodding from manufacturers won't work out for them. So to speak. I don't think companies like Nokia, or Samsung, have any deep-rooted need for NFC to work out, but they obviously believe in the technology and its feature set, or they wouldn't be putting it in their devices, or building features around it. If they keep making it work in unique, and yet functional ways, then I believe NFC will pick up for the general consumer.

As far as Nokia's plans go, I think it's pretty great. I'm not sure that I'd ever really use it, considering my phone is never very far from me, and usually never out of eyesight. But I know plenty of people who misplace their phone, even for just a few moments. It would also be nice to see if that Treasure Tag could notify you if you were walking away from your device, and made it a certain amount of feet away. Letting someone know before they lose their phone would be a pretty cool feature.

So what do you think of Nokia's proposed Treasure Tag? Do you think it's a feature, or set of features and pieces of hardware, that can take off? Will the mass public adopt it into their lives? Or will this be another NFC-based feature that just fades away into the night? Let me know!

Products mentioned