A post on GigaOm today entitled Near Field Communications is More Than Just a Mobile Wallet is right on. Developers have a new tool that relies on the security of physical proximity.
Here is my modest proposal: let’s use NFC to make attaching stuff to WiFi easier. Plugging devices into USB, configuring them, etc. is a huge hassle and impediment.
Grandma should be able to wave her new digital pictureframe over her WiFi basestation to connect it. I should be able to wave my iPhone over someone’s laptop and give them guest access to corporate WiFi for 24 hours.
The Wi-Fi Protected Setup standard supports NFC already. IMO the missing element is the ability to use a “magic wand” to connect devices. This could be a wireless device associated with a base station, or preferably a smartphone/tablet that has secure access to the base station.
That kind of easy setup is what is needed to get widespread use of Internet-connected stuff!