McDonald’s turns your smartphone into an NFC race car

While parents have differing opinions about when a child should first be introduced to technologies like tablets and the smartphone, there is no denying the cool factor of a new McDonald’s campaign launching in Asia. Utilizing the NFC chip built into many smartphones, the fast food chain is transforming their tables into virtual racetracks.

After downloading a free app, placing a smartphone onto a table outfitted with special NFC stickers sets it on a course filled with obstacles and mini-games. Say what you want about McDonald’s, but it’s a compelling concept that illustrates how the intersection of technology and imagination can affect play. It sort of makes you wish you were a kid all over again.

[via Gizmodo]


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  • Jeremy Sheehan

    Wow! Just wow!

  • Craig Becker

    How else can we hook people when they are young on the food that is of the same quality as dog food washed in ammonia?

    • Brian Menius

      It’s those freeze-dried onions, man! :twitch:

      • Jason Farrell

        And artificial bbq meat flavoring. Yum. *highfivefoodscientists!*

    • bitflung

      hey! i’d never feed my dog such low quality food!
      (seriously, my dog’s food has whole dried veggies in it – sometimes i think she eats better than i do!)

  • Jiro K

    Wish I was a kid please I’ll do that now

  • anonymously_redacted

    So all those iPhones can now… Oh… S. Wait…. Do nothing. :P

    • Tony Lai

      haha, yep, but most likely when McDonald’s have those NFC table ready, iPhone 5S or whatever should be out.

      • ChrisPollard77

        … at which point, NFC will be a “new”, “magical”, and “revolutionary” technology. With unicorns and double rainbows.

        • Lou_Sasshole

          The same way panaroma mode was “new” and “revolutionary” thing when the iCrap 5 came out. And of course people will just buy it up.

        • NIGHTSCOUT

          Apple was the first to have NFC….oh wait….They were the first to have LTE…oh wait….They were the first to have touchscreens and icons….oh wait…..They were the first to…..what exactly did they do first again?

          • ChrisM

            Sell well.

    • droi_d



      iPhone 5S will have NFC. And it will be phenomenal. As iSheep put it, NFC has no use yet, but once the iPhone gets it, NFC use will explode. Same way LTE was useless until the iPhone got it. I tell you, I am so sick of iSheep, that I don’t discuss technology with them anymore, since they’re so far behind the curve.

  • Chris H

    Not a big fan of McDonald’s, but this is pretty darn cool.

  • Jody Schoolcraft

    Hope the Hamburgler doesn’t steal the NFC chips from the table!

  • David Narada Brown

    Pretty cool!

  • Jason Farrell

    The NFC tags they put under the 1.5″ table are too far away to be detected, in my experience. Or maybe it was just for demonstration, and they’re actually embedded just under the thin laminate tabletop?

    Looks like fun, for kids, but I’m not so sure parents want their kids sliding their $600 phones around and OFF off of McD’s nasty greasy tables… :)

    • BaldyPal

      If they really are just on the bottom of the table…anyone want some free NFC tags?

  • Clayton Burnett

    If i had any clue what i was doing with NFC, I would (re)program a few NFC tags and plant them all over these tables. Give the kids a real surprise? Maybe program a few to show them that if they keep eating that crap that they’ll grow up to be Jabba the Hut’s size, or have a heart attack….lots of possibilities….

    • Jroc869, Nexus-Life

      just throw a tag on the bag, boom instant unhappy meal.

    • ari_free

      I thought Jabba got that way by eating lots of frogs

    • Adrynalyne

      You are too nice. I’d program them to dial Poison Control.

  • Allwayswrite

    this is lame…they had a great trigger and call to action then dropped the ball…this should have been a AR type love that ish

  • Sir Alex

    I guess they can expand this concept to those other promotions too.

  • Lorikowalsky

    This I must say is interesting!

  • bitflung

    i already shove my android tablet under my 10-week-old son’s fists (with appropriate apps running), but i’m hesitant to EVER introduce him to McDonalds…

    • malcmilli

      definitely… my child will be a Wendy’s and Checker’s baby.

      • rustygh

        Eww have u tasted Wendy’s beef? Carl’s Jr. FTW! :)

        • malcmilli

          the baconator is delicious! but yeah i hear good things about Carl’s jr. Unfortunately I’m on the east coast.

          • Ethan Bailey

            hardees is the east coast version of carl’s jr… just as delicious :)

    • Kristoff119

      Especially after one of their chefs won the lawsuit where he stated the meat was unfit for human consumption.

      • MathijsR

        One of their chefs.. haha :’) it was Jamie Oliver, you won’t find him in a McDonalds kitchen ;)

        Back on topic: what a moronic idea.. “The table is whatever their imagination wants it to be”. So let’s take out the imagination part and stuff some electronics in their hands, because that (and McJunkfood) will create wonderful unsocialized fat kids. Nice..

  • Jason Ervin

    it’ll be popular until toddlers race their parent’s phone off the table and shatter the screen

    • Drew M

      …or “drive” the phones through ketchup and french fry grease all over the table.

      • No_Nickname90

        Which is why Samsung is making a kid friendly tablet. *GASP* It all makes sense now!!

  • ac

    Parents are going to be begging for flexible screens, if they’re going to let their kids do this….LOL

    • charlesjames


  • Averix

    Great. So now on a big table at McDonald’s, kids will be running around it with expensive phones trying to see who can win the fastest race. That won’t make it more of a nightmare in there… Nice thinking Ronald.

  • lolwut

    They also turn your poop into liquid diarrhea

  • Adrynalyne

    Looks like a good way to have kids destroy the back of your phone.

  • chumawumba

    What a McStupid idea

  • irishrally

    There are going to be a lot of pissed off parents with scratches camera lenses.

    • faxbretscher46ox

      мy coυѕιɴ ιѕ мαĸιɴɢ $51/нoυr oɴlιɴe. υɴeмployed ғor α coυple oғ yeαrѕ αɴd prevιoυѕ yeαr ѕнe ɢoт α $1З619cнecĸ wιтн oɴlιɴe joв ғor α coυple oғ dαyѕ. ѕee мore αт…­ ­ViewMore——————————————&#46qr&#46net/kAgk

      And artificial bbq meat flavoring. Yum. *highfivefoodscientists!*

  • Delmar

    Wait …there is NFC on most phones and McDonalds is promoting it as a race game for kids ….in half life 2 you use a car to get to point A to point B…OMFG HALF-LIFE 3 CONFIRMED XD

  • iron2000

    The McArcade.

    You are eating at the table and your kid is going around the table or whacking the table with your smartphone.
    Imagine every table having the same situation.

    No peace :P

    • Arve Svendsen

      mcDonalds != Peace

  • master94

    Parents using the iphone will be the only ones who will ever get peace in MCdonalds now. At the same time, their children will be bored while our children will have fun but annoy us. It seems like both sides loose.

    • PittsPgh

      You’re going to be plugging your ears, because the kids iPhone can’t do this and they don’t want to be told this!.


  • John Andrew Stuart

    I sense lawsuits lingering and lawyers in waiting…

  • myrna652

    My Uncle Sebastian just got an awesome 6 month old Land Rover LR4 just by some part time working online with a macbook. this w­w­w.J­A­M­20.c­o­m