Picture this. Taking your Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader to your local B&N bookstore, touching it to a book with an embedded NFC chip, and being able to see reviews and information about the book on your Nook.
That’s one scenario that B&N CEO William Lynch envisions with a version of the Nook that might be released later this year. The Nook will feature NFC (near-field communication) support.
In an interview with Fortune, Lynch said:
“We’re going to start embedding NFC chips into our Nooks. 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. 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. That’s coming, and we could lead in that area.”
When asked if the new Nook might be available sometime this year, his reply was “Maybe.”
Fortune also asked Lynch about sales of the most recently launched Nook, the “Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight.” According to Lynch, sales are better than expected, “We certainly underestimated the demand for that product early. We’re temporarily sold out, but we’re trying to ramp very quickly.”
Lynch avoided getting into any details regarding the new deal between B&N and Microsoft. He even sounded at times like they didn’t have any particular plans. But it’s unlikely that Microsoft put $300 million into a joint venture without having a plan in mind. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens there.