Barnes & Noble has a plan to attract more in-store use of its Nook e-readers, and it involves near-field communication chips.
The technology -- known mostly for allowing consumers to use their phones to make payments -- will soon be embedded in the bookseller's Nook devices, Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch revealed during an interview with Fortune magazine.
"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," Lynch said in the interview. "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."
Lynch declined to offer specific timing on when we could expect to see the chips arrive in the devices, but presumably, it will coincide with the next iteration of the Nook.
On the heels of Microsoft's $300 million investment in a Barnes & Noble subsidiary that will combine the company's digital and college businesses, Lynch also hinted at integration with Microsoft Office.
"So again, we haven't announced anything specifically, but imagine an integration where an information worker, student, author, consumer, creates something in Office and has it immediately published for sale through the Nook bookstore," he said. "It starts to open a lot of exciting possibilities."