|Member Pages Skip navigation|
Resources for press and analysts
For release: 27 Apr 2007
The First European NFC Competition, Touching The Future Announces Winners
Over 50 high-quality entries from 13 countries
WAKEFIELD, Mass., USA — April 27, 2007 — The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, and the SmartTouch project (www.smarttouch.org), today announced the winners of "Touching the Future,” the first European NFC competition (www.touchingthefuture.wordpress.com). 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 Törmänen. 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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 system.
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 Topaz® 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:
Track B second-place winners were:
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.
About the NFC Forum
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. For more information, see www.nfc-forum.org.