Nokia has finally discovered what Near Field Communications is for – unlocking new levels of Angry Birds by tapping Nokia handsets together.
Angry Birds Magic will come preinstalled with the NFC-enabled C7, and distributed as part of the Symbian update to those handsets – enabling players to unlock additional levels by tapping their handset to another C7 on which the game has been installed. Every new tap unlocks another five levels.
According to the Nokia Conversations blog, there are other additional levels too, which can only be unlocked by tapping the phone against tags hidden in various locations with clues to be forthcoming. Quite how that scales we're not sure, but it's hard to imagine many players jetting over to the game's launch, at the WIMA conference in Monaco, to unlock a few more levels.
The C7 has an NFC radio, but lacks the secure element necessary for financial applications – relying on the operators' SIM to host credit cards and the like. That limits the applications Nokia can use to show off the technology, until some operator partners get on board.
Nokia itself appears less gung ho about NFC these days: the specifications for the recently announced E6 and X7 make no reference to NFC and the C6 (diminutive cousin of the C7) hasn't the capability despite Nokia's previously outspoken support for the short-range-wireless standard.
Unlocking levels of Angry Birds isn't quite the banking revolution of which NFC advocates dream, but it might get a few more people using the technology – assuming they can find someone else who has bought a Nokia C7. ®