New technology enhances Hope Visitor Guide access

Smartphones can instantly be linked to online version with NFC tags

The Hope Visitor Centre is using NFC stickers to help people access the online visitor guide.

The Hope Visitor Centre is utilizing new technology to help showcase what the community has to offer.

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a short-range, wireless technology that allows for the exchange of data between NFC-enabled smartphones and NFC stickers. The stickers are embedded with small miniature paper thin chips that are programmed to automate tasks. In this case, a phone brought in close proximity of the sticker or tapped against it will load the online version of the Hope Visitor Guide.

“This is the first step of being accessible to the people who want to embrace technology and they can have the same access as those who just want to hold a magazine in their hand,” said Riley Forman, director of tourism services with AdvantageHope. “Someone can quickly load that on their phone and they don’t have to pack around a magazine with them. It’s on their phone, it’s easy to look at and it’s always with them.”

NFC stickers are located inside the Hope Visitor Centre and on the outside magazine rack. The visitor guide can be loaded and bookmarked on NFC-enabled phones.

NFC stickers and QR codes (two-dimensional barcodes that store information such as a web addresses) essentially perform the same function. However, NFC technology allows for a faster transfer of data.

“QR codes were mobile technology’s first attempt at trying to allow people to easily bridge the gap from real life to their mobile devices,” said Forman. “It was neat at first because it was easier than it was before and people wanted to try it. Now we’re so crazy with (fast communication) that it just started to lose its luster. So NFC was kind of the answer to that.”

Any local businesses interested in displaying an NFC sticker for the visitor guide can contact the Hope Visitor Centre at 604-869-2021.