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(Pocket-lint) - A library in Japan has added NFC tags to bookshelves, allowing users to get more information on a book with their smartphones before deciding to borrow.

NFC has had something of a slow start to life, creeping into phones but never really having much of a purpose beyond linking to speakers or automating processes that don't really need automating.

But it's always interesting when someone does something different with NFC and in this case it's bringing the old world and the new into harmony. A Japanese library in Saitama Prefecture in Hanno has equipped shelves with NFC tags from Fujitsu.

From those tags you'll be able to access things like author information and details about books, as well as being able to reserve books you want to borrow, or review books you have read.

The library is equipped with 100 such tags and is looking to expand the system. Fujitsu, however, has its eye on 500 libraries across the country for expansion of the information system.

Public libraries have been under threat from the digital revolution, with it now being cheap and easy to buy books on a digital device like the Amazon Kindle, rather than picking up the free paper copy from your local library.

We can see how NFC could enhance the library experience, but why not also use it to promote the lending of e-Books which many libraries also offer?

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On the other hand, each book in the UK is labelled with a barcode, so just scanning the book with the Amazon app might will give you all the information you want. You might also just be tempted to buy, too.

Writing by Chris Hall.