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Tagtual The one stop shop for NFC - Near Field Communication - News

Tagtual The one stop shop for NFC - Near Field Communication

Target tests Bluetooth beacons in 50 US stores

US retail giant Target has begun testing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons in 50 stores nationwide to send deals and recommendations on nearby products directly to a shopper’s smartphone running the retailer’s iOS mobile app.

When you’re located near one of the 50 test stores — in Chicago, Denver, Minneapolis, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle — you will be prompted to opt in to share your location and receive push notifications, Target says.

Let’s say you’re shopping in the baby department. Once you opt in to this new technology, product recommendations from BabyCenter may pop up on your iPhone via push notifications or in-app updates on the Target App’s Target Run homepage. The Target Run page is like a social media site’s newsfeed, so the latest content, ie product recommendations or coupons based on your location, is added on top of the page.

We’re already working to develop additional features for future releases, including the ability to dynamically re-sort your shopping list as you move through the store, like how smartphone maps re-route when you veer off course, the retailer adds.

We’re also planning to launch a service in the Target app where you can request the help of a store team member right from your phone.

Based on results and the guest feedback we receive from the 50-store test, we’ll continue to enhance and adapt the service, which isn’t currently available for Android devices — we’re working on that, too. We also plan to expand the service to more stores later this year.

We’re excited to start using beacon technology to offer real-time, relevant content and services that can help make shopping at Target easier and more fun, says Jason Goldberger, president of Target.com and mobile.

This is another way Target is bridging mobile and stores, and using digital to enhance the in- store shopping experience. We look forward to seeing how our guests respond to what we’ve built.

Target is a member of retailer-led consortium MCX, which is planning to launch its CurrentC mobile wallet in a mid-sized market this Summer following in-store tests this month. The retailer has also announced plans to support in-store Apple Pay payments.

Source: http://www.nfcworld.com/2015/08/06/336970/target-tests-bluetooth-beacons-in-50-us-stores/

DigiSEq gets MasterCard approval to provision payments to mass market wearables

MasterCard has approved a solution that enables payment credentials to be provisioned to wearable devices with a secure element and NFC antenna. The move could give consumers the option of buying any wearable from a retail store and installing their choice of payment, ticketing and access control applications.

The solution has been developed by wearable credentials specialist DigiSEq and allows for multiple applications to be stored in a single wearable device. This then removes the need for banks and other service providers to issue customers with a dedicated wearable device, DigiSEq CEO Terrie Smith explained to NFC World.

Provisioning can take place during manufacturing, distribution or at the point of sale in retail stores, or using a consumer-facing mobile app that would connect to the wearable device via

 NFC, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or a USB port.

We took the approach whereby the consumer should have the choice of which wearable device they want to buy and not have to buy their device from the bank, Smith explained.

 The approach that banks have taken isn’t really ideal because the consumer may want multiple applications on a single device.

So the consumer can go and buy the device themselves and they can have the provisioning done at the point of sale through our client service, or they can actually take it home and do it themselves through NFC, BLE or USB. It could also be done through a distribution organisation, so it could be someone like Amazon doing it, and we can also provision it at the point of manufacture.

We set a profile in our system to determine whether this person’s device should have access control, ticketing, payment or a combination of these options. It can have whatever the person wants it to have and we can bring all of those pieces together and deliver them remotely to that device.

Endless opportunities

We also deal with the festivals market, where a manufacturer is turning out tens of thousands of wristbands to be used for secure access control to the site, as well as enabling payment to go contactless at the event, Smith continued.

The festival wristband manufacturers want to be able to personalise but they don’t want to have to buy a card with a chip, cut out the chip and then put the chip into the device and be restricted by that chip size. What they want is the chip and antenna integrated into the device, and to provision it at the point of manufacture using DigiSEq’s technology.

The cost of delivering a festival band with payment on it is currently very high because the only way of doing it is having a standard card made that has a chip and an antenna in it, then that being cut out and inserted into a device. That is expensive, non-scalable and also drives the size of the band.

DigiSEq takes a different approach whereby the manufacturer builds the band — to their own shape and design — and embeds a chip and antenna within it and then we will provision it at the point of manufacture or at the point of distribution.

The solution will work for a range of wearable devices including glasses, wristbands, keyfobs, jewellery and even clothing, Smith added.

It enables manufacturers to go ahead and put a secure element into the wearable with an antenna that can be used for payment and, when the consumer buys it, DigiSEq can provision it. This opens up the wearables market to endless opportunities.

Radical change

We think that it will radically change the market, because it now puts the choice of wearable device squarely into the consumer’s hands. It means consumers themselves can start driving the market. It’s now up to them to decide what wearable they want and not for the banks to decide what they should have.

The next step is for the manufacturers to insert the secure element and the antenna into their devices as part of their engineering process. DigiSEq are bringing out a prototype wearable with an embedded chip and antenna that we can show people how it’s done and what it could look like.

We expect the prototype to be available towards the third quarter of this year and we’re working with partners to manufacture and develop that. Our provisioning system is commercially available today, so if anybody has a chip and antenna already in their device, we can commercially provision it.

Source: http://www.nfcworld.com/2015/08/04/336935/digiseq-gets-mastercard-approval-to- provision-payments-to-mass-market-wearables/

Gimbal aims to turn any Bluetooth Low Energy device into a beacon

Mobile location and proximity services provider Gimbal has begun licensing its Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon firmware to enable almost any device with BLE to act as a beacon — including ATMs, jukeboxes, access points, vending machines and more.

“Gimbal’s proprietary firmware is capable of running on existing embedded platforms including Windows, Linux, Android and proprietary systems,” the Qualcomm spin-off explains.

“Through this solution, Gimbal is licensing the ability to both transmit and detect beacons. For internet-connected devices, Gimbal firmware provides the ability to manage these devices via Gimbal’s cloud service.”

“Adding Gimbal beacon technology to devices will enable retailers, hotels, venues, advertisers and out-of-home (OOH) networks to reach their mobile app users as well as to monetize their beacon networks by securely sharing access to these beacons with partners, sponsors or digital ad networks.”

“We have different firmware packages for different chipsets and different operating environments so we try to minimize the effort to build and incorporate this into or on top of your existing environment,” Gimbal COO Kevin Hunter explained to NFC World.

“That way, you can scale out to either existing chips that are incorporated or new chips that are going to be put inside a new infrastructure. We wanted to make it easy for a development team to be able to incorporate it and add that value to their offering.”

“I think when you start to license out firmware, it really gives you this secure discovery for that physical world that transcends so many different areas; home, enterprise and municipalities. All the different places we go in our lives can benefit from having this firmware incorporated,” Hunter continued.

“The idea was really to allow the market to take advantage of existing infrastructure or new infrastructure and allow them to deploy it fast and make it simple for them. We feel like we’re very much in a unique position by doing this and the interest is very strong.”


Source: http://www.nfcworld.com/2015/06/16/336013/gimbal-aims-to-turn-any-bluetooth-low energy-device-into-a-beacon/

Carrefour installs Bluetooth beacons in 28 hypermarkets across Romania

Supermarket giant Carrefour has installed 600 Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons in its 28 hypermarkets in Romania to guide shoppers around the stores and to deliver personalized promotions and offers either directly to their smartphones or to Samsung tablets affixed to the handles of their shopping carts.

The platform used by Carrefour is provided by beacon technology specialist Onyx Beacon which has also installed five hundred beacons across buses and trolleybuses on public transportation lines in the city of Bucharest to guide visually impaired passengers.

At the entrance in the supermarket, a few special shopping carts are waiting for the customer, Onyx Beacon explains. Last generation tablets produced by Samsung are installed on the shopping carts handles. A large sticker placed on the floor invites the visitor to use the Smart Shopping mobile application which can be downloaded and used on any smartphone, if the BLE port is opened.

The user’s steps are simple; select from a predefined list of store departments where you want to go in this shopping session. You note in the comments field of each chosen department the names or product categories that you have on your shopping list. After completing the shopping list and inventory of aisles where you want to go, the application calculates the route and shows you a path to follow on the store map.

As you advance from one area to another, the route is updated and the tablet on the shopping cart or your mobile phone shows your next directions. At each aisle of the hypermarket where you shop, you’ll get two, three or four notifications displayed as overlapping mini-windows. These are the active promotions at the time and at the place where you are at that very moment.

Besides the interaction with the consumer, this solution has another important role for the commercial network — the beacons system and the platform that manages the communication can collect a number of important statistics and analytical data that can help the retailer better understand consumer behaviour within the store and optimize its routes, merchandise display systems or work program of its own employees.

The Samsung tablets are for those visitors who don’t have compatible mobile phones or who want to enjoy the experience at another visual level, Onyx Beacon told NFC World. The interaction is more comfortable having the tablet installed on the shopping cart, rather than keeping the mobile phone in your hand.

Carrefour has 178 stores in Romania, including 28 hypermarkets, 97 supermarkets and 53 convenience stores. The France-based retailer has been trialling NFC in its stores since 2009 and recently opened a new hypermarket in Villeneuve-la-Garenne equipped with 55,00  NFC shelf-edge labels.

It is also testing an LED in-store lighting system in its Lille hypermarket to send location-based services, offers and promotions to a shopper’s smartphone and piloted BLE beacons attached to trolleys and baskets in Spain last year.


Source: http://www.nfcworld.com/2015/07/23/336765/carrefour-installs-bluetooth-beacons-in- 28-hypermarkets-across-romania/

Exterion to roll out beacons across public transport in the UK

Out-of-home media owner Exterion Media UK is to roll out Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons across public transport services in “major cities” in the UK to deliver marketing messages to passengers’ smartphones.


The move follows a successful pilot conducted on buses in Norwich last year in partnership with mobile marketing and NFC specialist Proxama and transport operator FirstGroup. Exterion has awarded Proxama a contract to continue the partnership for up to three years, with the first phase looking to build on the trial in Norwich.


Proxama has also secured a second grant for £1m from Innovate UK to continue its work in the city, following a grant of close to £100,000 in July last year.


“Our proximity marketing division, which focuses on connecting consumers to retailers and brands via Bluetooth beacon technology, will provide Exterion with a managed service to deliver proximity marketing services to consumers’ smartphones, whilst using public transport,” Proxama explains. “This Exterion partnership represents a significant milestone in Proxama delivering their strategy.


“Exterion has a nationwide portfolio of advertising environments in the largest urban areas in the country. They also own media sites in numerous high footfall locations in London and are the sole providers of advertising space on Transport for London’s bus and Underground services.”


“Consumer engagement is at the heart of what we do and we are excited to embark on a partnership that will help advertisers engage with and inform audiences on the move,” says Jason Cotterrell, managing director of Exterion Media UK.


Source:http://www.nfcworld.com/2015/05/20/335335/exterion-to-roll-out-beacons-across- public-transport-in-the-uk/

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