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ACM TechNews

Tiny Technology Could Spark Revolution in House Buying

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A woman holding an NFC-enabled smartphone.

A near-field communication (NFC) tag may be placed discretely near the entrance of a property up for sale; touching a smartphone to the tag allows the user to access information on the property.


A near-field communication (NFC) tag developed at Plymouth University could facilitate the home-buying process. The researchers say the tiny tag can be placed discreetly near the entrance of a property, and prospective buyers would touch it with their smartphone to access information on the house. Prospective buyers must register with the real estate agent to get NFC Homes, the free app needed to access the property information.

"This app solves the age-old problem of how do you put your house on the market without broadcasting the fact to all of your neighbors," says Plymouth professor Martin Tomlinson, who developed the technology. "It is easy to use, with the added bonus of reducing clutter in our towns and countryside."

The data stored on the tag is encrypted, and is limited to those who sign up for the app. Tomlinson also says the tag is cost-effective and enables sellers to provide much more information than conventional signs.

"Being able to read a tag with an everyday smartphone just by touching it means the advantages of computer technology will be available to everyone," he says.

From Plymouth University
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