What we can learn from Sony Xperia tags

We talked about Sony’s Xperia SmartTags while at CES last week and it seems we weren’t the only ones who took notice.  According to a PSFK article, a Sony representative says the Xperia tags will be available for sale as early as the second quarter 2012 at a price of $30 for four tags.

Near Field Communication (NFC), the technology powering these tags, is something we’ve had our eyes on for a while and we anticipate it will gain real traction over the next few years.  In addition to the suggestion that this technology will become adopted sooner rather than later, I find the cultural implications of these tags noteworthy.  We live in a world where we constantly struggle to maintain a balance between our work, home, and social lives.  At the most basic level, these Xperia tags can, with a quick tap, turn on our work emails and notifications upon arriving at the office, and then switch them off when we get home in the evening, thereby simplifying and automating a process we as a society have trouble doing for ourselves.  Perhaps a literal shift in our phones’ functions will encourage us to make a mental shift as well.

And, isn’t this, after all, the real goal behind new technology?  Some new devices and mediums are undeniably fun (I’m thinking augmented reality on magazine covers, etc.), but fun isn’t enough.  Meaningful technology should not only fit seamlessly into our lives, but also enhance them.