Each year, CES always seems to circle around a few common themes, and NFC -- Near-Field Communication -- is getting a large chunk of the spotlight this week, and it's not all completely about mobile payments. In fact, we're just scratching the surface of what NFC is truly capable of. We stopped by the NXP booth and found a treasure chest full of the latest innovations in the world of NFC, the first of which is the Cirque Glidepoint NFC trackpad. The company had a fully working trackpad that's actually built into a laptop, as well as an external model that can be plugged into any USB port (tablets, for instance).
We navigated to Engadget's home page on our Galaxy Nexus and placed it on the pad, and just as expected, Android Beam activated and our touch initiated the data transfer. Within two seconds, the browser pulled up and loaded the site. We also used a business card with a NFC tag built-in and accomplished the same task. But it doesn't stop there -- the concept can be applied to other NFC applications, such as YouTube videos, maps and even the Activision critter seen above. The unit we demoed was a prototype that's still a long ways from final hardware, so don't expect to see them embedded into a laptop until mid-2013. External trackpads, according to Cirque, should be seeing the market in four months.
Dante Cesa contributed to this report.