Android NFC sharing looks like what we want from Touch-to-Share [video] 77
It seems that the folks at Google were watching back in February when HP unveiled the TouchPad webOS tablet and its integrated Touch-to-Share technology. Yesterday at Google IO brought the announcement of an expansion of the NFC (Near-Field Communication) chip capabilities of Android smartphones: “0-click” sharing. While HP’s Touch-to-Share doesn’t use NFC tech, they are similar enough in concept (not execution), though HP is a step ahead in deciding to integrate it into their phones and tablets.
At Think Beyond and several times since, HP has demonstrated Touch-to-Share transferring a web address and loading a web page on the new device (e.g. view something on your TouchPad, tap the Pre 3 to it, and open the browser and load that page on the phone). Google went a step further in their demonstration of NFC sharing. They were able to transfer the requisite web address, but also shared contacts and links to apps in the market place from the app running on the host phone (both Nexus S smartphones). Additionally, they hacked together a frightening contraption that added NFC to a Motorola Xoom Android 3.0 tablet and used it to transfer a YouTube video from the phone to the tablet, picking right up where it left off on the phone. Video of it all is after the break (NFC demo starts around 14:20).
HP has hinted that they might have more up their sleeves than just web address sharing, and will be opening up a Touch-to-Share API for developers. Considering that all Mojo and Enyo apps are web-based, our feeble non-developer minds can see how it might not be that difficult to translate what’s on the screen into an easily shared web address. But what we really honestly want is a full transfer, where tapping your phone against the tablet (or vice versa) transfers everything you’re doing, not just the website or contact you’re looking at.
That’s where the difference between Android NFC and webOS Touch-to-Share is exemplified. A lot of what was demonstrated at Google IO could be classified as sharing between friends (send a contact, get this app, etc), whereas HP wants you to share between the webOS devices that you own. Touch-to-Share works as a combination of Touchstone-based “communications coils” and Bluetooth to handle the actual data transfer, as opposed to NFC which handles it all through one low-power chip and radio.