With all the hype about mobile-payments proliferating the web, it's easy to forget that NFC technology has a host of interesting and useful applications beyond paying for your latte. Luckily, some of the developers haven't forgotten this. In fact, Sony debuted some pretty cool ideas for Near Field Communications devices at CES. They call them Xperia SmartTags, and they make for a truly different take on the tech. They are basically NFC chips that you can place throughout your home and customize them to perform many different things.
Basically, when you enter a room with one of these SmartTags enabled, you just tap your smartphone to it and it customizes itself to your personal profile for that room. For example, let's say you enter your home office to get some work done, you can program it to automatically activate the WiFi and Bluetooth and calendar app on your smartphone to help you sync up faster and easier. Another example given in the video (shown above) was that you could put one of these tags in your car, so that when you get in, it automatically launches your Google Navigation and Bluetooth for hands-free talking.
It seems like there are a multitude of different ideas that you could use to make this tech useful. The tags will likely be released in Q2 for about $25-$40 for four tags and will be compatible with all NFC-capable Xperia devices. Let's cross our fingers that Sony decides to make them compatible with any NFC capable phone, instead of just the Xperia line.