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Device-to-device communication is currently a hot research topic within 3GPP. Even though D2D communication has been part of previous ad hoc, meshed and sensor networks proposals, the main contribution by 3GPP is that the direct communication among two devices is carried out over a dynamically assigned, licensed spectrum; thus, it is under full control of the cellular network. D2D communication creates a market potential for new services, new approaches to efficient spectrum use, and security concepts. This is especially true if D2D communication is extended to larger communication groups organized in meshed clusters. In this article, we discuss the potential and shortcomings of D2D communication as proposed today, advocating for the use of network coding as an enabling technology for enhanced security and communication efficiency using the PlayNCool and CORE protocols as key examples to deliver smarter D2D systems.