The NFC Forum , a non-profit industry association that advances the
use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, and the
SmartTouch project, today announced the winners of “Touching the
Future,” the first European NFC competition. The competition’s goal is
to promote innovation and excellence in NFC service implementations in
Europe, both present and future.
The competition was part of the NFC Developers Summit that took place
last week in Monaco during the Wireless Information Multimedia
Applications (WIMA) 2007 event (www.wima.mc). The competition’s theme
was “The Simplicity of a Touch.” Held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco,
the competition’s 10 winners were selected from 21 finalists, chosen for
their focus on the innovation, commercial potential and usability of
their proposed applications, as well as the quality of their design and
implementation of NFC technology. Over 50 high-quality submissions from
13 countries were received, from both commercial and student developers.
The competition was organized into two tracks: Track A for NFC services
already implemented in Europe, either as full deployments or pilots; and
Track B for proposals for future services. Finalists had the opportunity
to present and discuss their work; WIMA participants and members of the
jury were able to see demonstrations of entries from both tracks.
The first place winner of Track A’s “Best NFC Implementation of the Year
2007” is Nedap NV Healthcare of The Netherlands for its ‘iO Concept:
Simple Solution to a Complex Problem,’ represented by team member Rob
Schuurman. The first place winner in Track B, ‘Most Innovative NFC
Proposal of the Year 2007,’ is Technical Research Center of Finland –
VTT for its ‘Seeingeyephone.’ The first place team members were Tapio
Matinmikko, Sonja Leskinen, and Vili TÃÂÃÂ¶rmÃÂÃÂ¤nen. All 10 winners were
awarded trophies designed specifically for the competition.
Submissions in Track A were evaluated on the criteria of demonstrated
process and service improvements and cost savings; those in Track B were
judged on creativity, innovation, and business potential. All proposals
were screened and evaluated by senior NFC-knowledgeable teams of
academics, industrial professionals and venture capitalists. Questions
about the competition may be sent to the Organizing Committee,
Nedap NV Healthcare’s Track A winning entry is a solution called “iO
TouchPro” that automates the process of recording and transmitting
patient services provided by homecare workers using an NFC-enabled Nokia
3220 mobile phone and Nedap’s iO software. Upon arrival at a patient’s
home, the homecare worker simply touches the iO TouchPro phone to a
patient smartcard to register the arrival time and receive patient care
information from the central iO software. After treatment, the care
worker holds the phone to the patient card again and the treatment
actions are automatically recorded. By eliminating all administrative
work and data entry by the homecare worker, the Nedap solution saves
time and money, ensures greater accuracy and allows more time for
patient care. iO TouchPro was first introduced in late 2005, and
approximately 6,000 European homecare workers are currently using the
The Track B winner, “Seeingeyephone” from Technical Research Center of
Finland VTT, is a proposed application designed to assist
visually-impaired consumers while shopping in grocery stores. A TopazÃÂÃÂ®
NFC tag, by Innovision Research & Technology plc, containing information
on each product, such as price, nutritional information, use-by date and
special sales offers, is attached to the store shelf next to the
product. The visually-impaired consumer holds an NFC-enabled phone to
the tag and the phone reads the information aloud to the consumer using
a voice synthesizer.
Second-place prizes for Track A were awarded to the following entries:
– “ToP Trainer — NFC Personal Trainer,” submitted by Top Tunniste
Oy and its team of Alexey Chugunov, Janne PyrrÃÂÃÂ¶ and Pauli Tossavainen.
– “Over-C’s Vacant Property NFC Application,” submitted by Over-C
UK, Ltd. and its team of Michael Elliott, John Bridge, Chris Broughton,
Ben Parrish, Claire Butler and Mark Gostlow.
– “Commercially available multi application NFC-Phone in Hanau,”
submitted by Rhein-Main Verkehrsverbund team member Peter Preuss.
– “Mobile NFC payment using a multi-application SIM card,”
submitted by Gemalto and its team of Jean-Pierre Tual, Vincent Veran and
Track B second-place winners were:
– “HOTELNOVA,” submitted by MIS MDBS and its team of Thomas de
Lazzari, Jean-Louis Agostini and Julien Cheype.
– “Oystar – Mobile Loyalty software,” submitted by Project Bureau
AK, Ltd. and its team of David Slocombe, Adrian Ashley, Dane Soba, ‘iga
Hajdukovic’ and Rok Jamnik.
– “Mobile Sales Assistant for retailers (MSA),” submitted by
Institute of Electronic Business e.V. and its team of Stephan Karpischek
and Stephan Hamacher.
– “iO open; Home is not far away,” submitted by Nedap and its team
of Rob Schuurman and Jan Hendrik Croockewit.
The competition attracted entries from Finland, France, Hungary, Israel,
England, Spain, Norway, USA, Germany, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Austria
and Turkey. The ‘Touching the Future’ competition was founded by Nokia
in partnership with the SmartTouch project, and is sponsored by the NFC
Forum. Additional sponsors include Innovision Research & Technology plc,
NXP Semiconductors and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Based
on a short-range wireless connectivity, NFC technology provides
intuitive, simple and secure interaction between electronic devices. NFC
communication is enabled simply by bringing two NFC-compatible devices
within a few centimeters of one another, or by allowing the two devices
literally to touch. NFC technology changes the way consumers interact
with electronic devices and with their environment, enabling a truly
mobile lifestyle with access to content and services..
SmartTouch is an ITEA/Eureka project that emphasizes NFC technology use
in practical applications. The project consists of 21 partners from
eight European countries: Alcatel-Lucent, Buscom, City of Oulu, Dan
Company, ENSICAEN, Gemalto, Idesco, IDesia, Innovision Research and
Technology, K.U. Leuven, MedicTouch, Nokia, Nordea, Philips CE, the
Innovation Lab, Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund, Robotiker, Telefonica
Investigacion y Desarrollo S.A. Unipersonal, TeliaSonera, Telvent
TrÃÂÃÂ¡fico y Transporte, S.A., ToP Tunniste, and VTT Technical Research
Centre of Finland. For more information, see www.smarttouch.org.
About the NFC Forum
The NFC Forum was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004
by leading mobile communications, semiconductor and consumer electronics
companies. The Forum’s mission is to advance the use of Near Field
Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring
interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market
about NFC technology. The Forum’s 110 global member companies currently
are developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and
protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service
delivery, device discovery, and device capability.
The NFC Forum’s Sponsor Members, which hold seats on the Board of
Directors, include leading players in key industries around the world.
The Sponsor Members are: HP, MasterCard International, Microsoft Corp.,
Nokia, NEC, NXP Semiconductors, Panasonic, Renesas Technology, Samsung,
Sony Corporation and Visa International.