Barnes and Noble is in the midst of developing new versions of their Nook e-Readers that have a Near-Field-Communication chip in them. This will allow for greater synergy between their e-readers and books in the retail stores.
William Lynch, the CEO of Barnes and Noble, dropped a bombshell in an interview with Fortune today. “We’re going to start embedding NFC chips into our Nooks. We can work with the publishers so they would ship a copy of each hardcover with an NFC chip embedded with all the editorial reviews they can get on BN.com. And if you had your Nook, you can walk up to any of our pictures, any our aisles, any of our bestseller lists, and just touch the book, and get information on that physical book on your Nook and have some frictionless purchase experience. That’s coming, and we could lead in that area.”
I could see NFC being popular with Barnes and Noble stores, and also allowing greater flexibility in their Nook Friends Platform. Lending ebooks out to your friends would be massively easier if you could simply just bump the Nooks together or just be in close proximity.