Wired magazine is reported to be inserting near-field communication (NFC) chips in half a million subscribers copies of its April issue. Ad Age says the new-fangled item is accompanied by a traditional printed url for readers who don't have NFC-enabled mobile devices. The NFC technology is being deployed in the service of an ad in the magazine for the Lexus GS 2013; readers hold their devices near the ad to be taken directly to a video demo. This is a step beyond 2-D QR or bar codes, says the Ad Age story, because readers don't have to take pictures of anything with their smartphone cameras. It quotes Brian Bolain, national marketing communications director for Lexus
"Our estimates are that there around 3 million people in the U.S. with NFC-enabled smartphones," Mr. Bolain said. "We know it's a pretty small pool, but we need to do something more interesting in print to make it a little more of an interactive experience for those people who want it."