NFC Forum Global Competition 2010 winners announced
Date: Wed, 07/07/2010 - 13:51
The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, recently announced the winners of the NFC Forum Global Competition 2010. The winning entries were named at an awards ceremony held tonight at the NFC Forum all-member meeting in Karlshamn, Sweden.
The NFC Forum Global Competition promotes the development and deployment of innovative and exemplary NFC services by both commercial and academic developers. The Commercial Track is for business ideas that address a specific market, business, or consumer need or want. The Research Track is open to the academic community, including university student teams and institutions.
From the 20 finalists selected earlier from applicants representing a variety of countries in Asia, Europe and North America, first-, second-, and third-place winners in each track were chosen by a jury composed of senior professionals and recognized experts from academia, members, and sponsoring companies. Entries were judged on their innovation, commercial potential, and usability, as well as on quality of design and implementation.
The first half of the Competition took place at the WIMA NFC Developers Summit in Monaco in April. Due to travel restrictions caused by the volcanic ash, some finalists were not able to attend. To accommodate them, the NFC Forum's member meeting in Karlshamn was selected as the venue for the second half of the competition, at which finalists demonstrated their entries to the jury earlier today. Winners in each track received cash prizes: first-place received 5000 euros, second-place 1500 euros, and third-place 1000 euros.
The first-place winner in the Commercial Track, "The Best NFC Service of the Year 2010," is NEXPERTS (Austria) for Touch & Pay, which makes self-service shopping as easy as possible. The customer's NFC-enabled phone provides access to the store, a virtual shopping basket, and the payment terminal. The principle of Touch & Pay can be extended to rural areas or countries without a POS payment infrastructure.
The first-place winner in the Research Track, "The Most Innovative NFC Research Project of the Year 2010," is PharmaFabula (Spain) for NFC Mobile Technology and RFID for Identification of Medicines for the Blind. Using an NFC-enabled mobile device, PharmaFabula provides object identification for the blind. It reports medical information from prescriptions, leaflets, and other useful data in audio format. It can also provide personal information, like dosage and treatment duration. ONCE, the Spanish organization of blind people, tested PharmaFabula and were very satisfied with the results.
"In winning this year's competition, NEXPERTS and PharmaFabula remind us once again that there is no limit to the imagination. Each of these award-winning entries is a testament to NFC technology's unique ability to enable solutions that improve, enrich, and simplify people's lives," said Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum.
The second-place winner in the Commercial Track is ITN International, Inc. (USA) for BCARD Reader - NFC Ecosystem for Events and Tradeshows. The BCARD Reader is the first and only dedicated NFC ecosystem designed to manage and enhance the information exchange process at events, tradeshows, and exhibitions. Third place goes to NTT DOCOMO (Japan) for Wellness Support - NFC Dynamic Tags Enable New Style Data Communication. With Wellness Support, an NFC Dynamic Tag is embedded into personal healthcare devices, enabling convenient and instant data exchange.
In the Research Track, Artesis University College Antwerp (Belgium) was awarded second place for NFC Learning Environment, which lets teachers tag objects that students then investigate and explore. This application brings the advantages of NFC into the world of education as these "smart objects" share their story. The system provides exercises, registers student achievement, and keeps teachers up-to-date. The third-place prize goes to Lancaster University (UK) for MyState: Allowing Users to Describe Themselves and Their Environment with NFC and Facebook, which allows users to create interactive environments by placing NFC tags on objects to create individual, personalized applications.
For both commercial and research track developers, the NFC Forum Global Competition is more than just an opportunity to win an award. Finalists and winners may look forward to global media coverage, increased awareness among attending industry leaders and venture capitalists, and opportunities to forge partnerships and share ideas.
WIMA is a Platinum sponsor of the competition. Adamsoft d.o.o., Nokia, and Over-C are Gold sponsors, and Stollmann E+V GmbH is a Silver sponsor.