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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

Bucharest buses to use Bluetooth beacons to guide the blind

Five hundred Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons are to be installed on buses and trolleybuses on two public transportation lines in the city of Bucharest, Romania to guide visually impaired passengers on and off buses so that they can use public transportation services without needing a personal assistant.


The Smart Public Transport (SPT) project has been put together by Bluetooth beacon technology provider Onyx Beacon in partnership with public transport operator RATB and visually impaired project coordinator Tandem Association. A fleet of forty Onyx Beacon Enterprise Beacon devices have already been installed on buses in the city, with the rollout expected to be complete at the end of August.


“The user leaves from home after setting the mobile application to follow the bus lines that are covering the route he wants to move on,” Onyx Beacon explains. “The bus, equipped with a uniquely identified iBeacon, approaches the station where the user is already waiting. When the vehicle is approaching at a distance of 50 to 60 meters, the user’s mobile phone receives a notification saying that the bus is coming.


“The notification is delivered with a specific audio signal and the voice-over application on the phone reads the notification’s text to the user. When the bus arrives in the station, the iBeacon’s buzzer will repeatedly broadcast a beep signal, knowing from the mobile application and the cloud platform that a passenger interested in that bus line is in the station.


“Thus, the user can precisely identify the desired bus if more than one vehicle arrives simultaneously in the same station. After the user goes on the bus, notifications and buzzer sound signals will automatically stop. The process repeats when the person reaches another bus station and notifies the application that he expects a vehicle from another transit line.


“People with visual disabilities will be able to reach all main public areas of Bucharest  by bus and the mobile application will help them to easily find all the connections for moving to any point of interest in the Romanian capital.”


The Smart Public Transport project is one of eight projects selected for funding by ‘Mobile for Good’, a Vodafone Romania Foundation program that encourages the use of technology for social causes.


“The feedback received in the first three days of operation from users already testing the solution is very encouraging and confirms that all components are fully integrated and precisely delivering all the expected information and projected user benefits,” Onyx Beacon adds.

“Starting from September 2015 the solution will be completely implemented, fully operational and freely available to all users in Bucharest.


“The Tandem Association plans to convince project sponsors to support the extension of this project in all major cities in Romania in partnership with local associations of visually impaired people and local authorities. Meanwhile, the Onyx Beacon team is already in contact with national or regional associations of people having visual disabilities and public transport companies in several major cities around the world.”

Source: http://www.nfcworld.com/2015/06/08/335809/bucharest-buses-to-use-bluetooth-beacons-to-guide-the-blind/

French shopping centre uses BLE beacons to help retailers attract customers

Les Terrasses du Port, a new 480-hectare shopping centre in the French city of Marseille, has installed Europe’s largest network of Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons, enabling retailers such as Zara and H&M to deliver promotional offers and information straight to shoppers’ smartphones.


The 250 Bluloc beacons have been supplied by German technology provider match2blue. The content management system used by retailers to deliver offers and the mobile app used by shoppers have also been supplied by match2blue.


The platform also provides an analytics dashboard that provides information on the number of people who frequent the various areas of the shopping centre and individual shops.


In all, 190 individual shops in Les Terrasses du Port have been fitted with the Bluloc platform.


“The basic idea of it is to help the customer shop in a different way,” Stephanie Renda, CEO of match2blue, told NFC World+.


“The general idea with installations is that we cover the whole area. We can then calculate the exact position of the user on what we call the iBeacon grid. The user can locate themselves everywhere they go and we can point them in the direction of certain products based on their exact position and the effectiveness of the different beacons which the user’s phone is receiving at that specific position.


“So we can not only trigger what is the typical use case with beacons but we can also track the users on the iBeacon grid and determine their exact position and journey.”


“There is an opt-in for the user so the user needs to say ‘yes, I want to receive push notifications by this mobile application’ and ‘yes, I allow this mobile application to know my location’,” Renda continued. “On top of that, the platform offers administrators, or the company that owns the platform in the particular location, to define rules.


“For example, they can say they only want shoppers to receive a maximum number of notifications per visit or only so many per hour or only the most important ones in terms of targeting rules, so there is a mechanism to prevent the user being bombarded. They receive the offer once and once they have received it, they won’t get it again.”


“We have it live in this particular shopping centre at the moment,” Renda added. “We’re currently installing it in a major train station and we have installed it in another shopping centre in Germany; in the next couple of months, we will have done more than 100 installations of this kind. Marseille was really the biggest of its kind for us so far but there are even bigger ones to follow.”


Source: http://www.nfcworld.com/2014/07/11/330265/french-shopping-centre-ble-beacons- retailers-attract-customers/

VivaLnk shows wearable NFC thermometer

Digital tattoo inventor Vivalnk is to launch an NFC-based wearable thermometer that adheres to skin and provides accurate temperature measurements directly to a smartphone without requiring a battery. NFC Business Cards

The eSkin Thermometer, on show at the CES in Las Vegas this week, includes NFC chip technology from NXP together with a sensor which takes an accurate body temperature reading in less than three seconds.

“This thermometer is nothing more than a soft, breathable sticker with a child-approved friendly teddybear design,” the company explains. “The eSkin Thermometer patch works with a smartphone to provide a range of smart feature possibilities. The initial product release will include the ability to record and track fevers.

“VivaLnk is in the process of completing the initial product design. A limited amount of samples will be available for interested partners in January 2015.”



Pizza Hut could let customers order and pay for pizza from their cars

Pizza Hut is testing a proof-of-concept “connected car” system that would let its customers order and pay for pizza from their vehicle before identifying themselves when arriving at the restaurant through Bluetooth beacons placed in designated parking bays.

The restaurant chain has teamed up with Visa and Accenture to develop the service, which could also be applied to other real-world scenarios such as paying parking meters and for goods at fuel stations, Visa’s Martin Enriquez explained to NFC World during a demonstration at Mobile World Congress.

“The use case is that you want to order some food on the way home,” Enriquez, a member of Visa’s innovation and strategic partnerships team, explained during a demonstration. “You want to order food from Pizza Hut and it asks you which restaurant, and you say, ‘let’s go to this one’. You can order from the store menu option — but the most used one is going to be ‘past orders’.

“So, here is my previous order, here’s the amount, I’m going to pay with my Visa card or I can change the card if I want. We integrated [the service] with Visa Checkout; so if you put a card in Visa Checkout … you don’t need to enter your details again, you just log in.

“This goes up via cellular, because you’re on the road. It goes to the cloud, to their ecommerce site and then down to the store, on to their point-of-sale system and then they’re getting your pizza ready for you. You drive to the location and there’s a couple of parking spaces for pick up, each with a beacon, and when you park it wakes up your app automatically.

“It tells you ‘welcome back, you’ve paid and oh, by the way, you’re only two pizzas away from getting your free one’. The beacon at that stall woke up the app and triggered some activity. We collect the beacon ID and the stall number. We pass that, along with the payment information and your loyalty information and more information about the order — maybe information about the car — to them.

“In this case, we’re using Bluetooth. It could be cellular, WiFi, that’s not the point. Inside, their point of sale will now wake up and say ‘Martin’s in stall two, he’s paid, his pizza’s ready, could you bring that out to him in stall two? He’s in the BMW.’”

“I’m in the innovation group from Silicon Valley and we’ve got a very Silicon Valley approach to this,” he continued. “We said, what is an Internet of Things thing that is far along? It’s a connected car. We built three apps for the car; we built those three apps in about 10 weeks. We worked with Accenture on that so you had two big companies that were able to do that very quickly. The use cases we did were a quick service restaurant, a parking meter and a fuel station.

“So we decided to go to one of those use cases, which is the quick-serve restaurant, and make it work in real life and with partners. The Internet of Things is messy, very messy. It’s fragmented. If you look at it from an architecture point of view, there really isn’t one, there are missing pieces. What we really care about is electronic commerce.

“We don’t like cash, we want that to convert into electronic commerce. As we are looking forward, we realise that the Internet of Things is going to bring a lot of new commerce. In your experience, you just parked your car, that’s all you did. Magic happened and your pizza came out to you. That’s the beauty of technology; when you do it right, you can create a super-simple user experience.”

“It’s really not about the scale because we know we can scale,” Enriquez added. “It’s about the learning experience and getting the different perspectives from the ecosystem to identify the opportunity and try to figure out how to do this. This could happen; this is not hocus pocus five years into the future, this could be done.”


Source: http://www.nfcworld.com/2015/03/04/334466/pizza-hut-could-let-customers-order-and- pay-for-pizza-from-their-cars/

Deutsche Telekom launches NFC mobile wallet in Germany, with Slovakia and Hungary to follow

Deutsche Telekom has launched MyWallet, an NFC service that allows customers with any of 18 supported Samsung and Sony Android NFC devices to make payments at MasterCard PayPass merchants. The service is live in Germany today, will be launched in Slovakia this month and in Hungary later this year. NFC Business Cards


In Germany, supermarket chains Hit and Edeka are to begin issuing digital coupons that users can store in their MyWallet from June 2014. Transit and event tickets, membership and loyalty points are all to be added “in the future”, with the city of Bonn selected as the carrier’s main testbed for new applications.


MyWallet is launching in Germany with a single supported payment card — the MyWallet Card — a prepaid MasterCard issued by Deutsche Telekom’s London-based ClickandBuy International subsidiary.


Customers who sign up for the service will get an introductory bonus of up to €40, a companion card that can be used to make purchases at merchants not equipped to accept contactless payments, and a free NFC SIM card.


All MyWallet-capable NFC phones supplied by the carrier will ship with an NFC-enabled SIM from now on, Deutsche Telekom says, and contactless stickers are being made available to customers without an NFC phone.


The carrier is using Giesecke & Devrient’s SkySIM CX SIM cards for the NFC rollout. G&D is also supplying the MasterCard PayPass payment application.


Source: http://www.nfcworld.com/2014/05/07/328995/deutsche-telekom-launches-nfc-mobile- allet-germany-slovakia-hungary-follow/

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