In what seems to be the broadest (in terms of applications) NFC trial to date, the city of Caen in the Normandy region of France will demonstrate the technology in retail payments, parking facility ticketing, tourist site information sharing, and eventually promotions via active posters.
City of Caen, France, to Demonstrate Simplicity of Near Field Communication (NFC) Technology
Consumers Can Enjoy Convenient Access to Information and Easy Payment Options
EINDHOVEN, The Netherlands, October 18/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ – The city of Caen in Normandy, France will today be the setting for a trial of one of the most promising new technologies in the mobile telecommunications market: Near Field Communication (NFC). With this touch-based technology from Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI), 200 Caen residents will use mobile phones with an embedded Philips NFC chip as a means of secure payment in selected retail stores, parking facilities and famous tourist sites around town in a six-month trial. For the trial, Philips will work closely with France Telecom R&D, network operator Orange, handset manufacturer Samsung and renowned retailers Groupe LaSer and Vinci Park.
The Caen NFC trial is the world’s first large scale trial of this emerging technology and will enable direct feedback to be gathered from mobile operators, retailers and consumers. The Caen trial of NFC will help illustrate how consumers can securely and easily make purchases and obtain information, simply with the swipe of their mobile phones.
“The great potential of NFC is being illustrated in Caen where consumers can easily use this touch-based technology to simplify transactions, obtain information and reduce the amount of time spent in queues. NFC will fundamentally change the way consumers use technology and businesses implement it,” said Christophe Duverne, Vice President, Philips Semiconductors and Chairman of the NFC Forum. “NFC will have a tremendous impact on our day-to-day lives, and I’m pleased that Philips, France Telecom, Samsung, Groupe LaSer and Vinci Park together have this first broad-scale rollout of NFC possible.”
The range of services and applications for NFC-enabled Samsung D500 mobile phones includes:
Retail applications: Groupe Laser chains, which include Monoprix supermarket and Galeries Lafayette will be equipped with NFC payment terminals enabling users to pay at checkout using their NFC-enabled phone. More stores will follow later in the trial, along with a cashless payment scheme in partnership with Cofinoga, the consumer credit arm of Groupe Laser.
Car parking access: When users wish to access a car park, they simply pass their NFC-enabled phone in front of the entrance booth. The car park ticketing application automatically issues a ‘virtual’ ticket on the mobile phone and debits the cost from the users’ season card or pre-paid account when the phone is passed across the terminal at the car park exit.
Tourist services: When an NFC-enabled phone is swiped across information points at landmarks in Caen, a phone call will be made or SMS message received containing interesting tourist information about the site.
Active Posters: During the trial, more applications will be added, including the purchase of mobile phone content such as ringtones and wallpaper through posters around town that have NFC embedded.
The solution used in this trial incorporates secure, over the air (OTA) download of applications on a GSM network and automatically recognizes the appropriate application to launch when an NFC connection is made. In addition to NFC, the Samsung phone also incorporates a Philips smart card chip, enabling users to make payments and use banking applications supported by one of the highest levels of security available on the market today.
Jointly developed by Philips and Sony, NFC is a combination of contactless identification and interconnection technologies that enables wireless short-range communication between mobile devices, consumer electronics, PCs and smart objects. NFC offers a simple, touch-based solution that allows consumers to exchange information and to access content and services in an intuitive way.
Combining the functions of a contactless reader, a contactless card and peer-to-peer functionality on a single chip, NFC opens up a myriad of new opportunities to our consumer lifestyles. It is an open interface platform that allows fast and automatic set-up of wireless networks, which also works as a virtual connector for existing cellular, Bluetooth and wireless 802.11 devices.
NFC is compatible with Sony’s FeliCa(TM) card and the broadly established contactless smart card infrastructure based on ISO 14443 A, which is used in Philips’ MIFARE(R) technology.
To drive development and adoption of NFC, Philips, Sony and Nokia established the NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association which promotes implementation and standardization of NFC technology to ensure interoperability between devices and services. The NFC Forum has currently more than 50 members around the globe including MasterCard International, Matsushita Electronic Industrial Co, Ltd, (Panasonic), Microsoft, Motorola, NEC Corporation, Renesas Technology Corp., Samsung, Texas Instruments and Visa International.
About Royal Philips Electronics
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is one of the world’s biggest electronics companies and Europe’s largest, with sales of EUR 30.3 billion in 2004. With activities in the three interlocking domains of healthcare, lifestyle and technology and 161,100 employees in more than 60 countries, it has market leadership positions in medical diagnostic imaging and patient monitoring, color television sets, electric shavers, lighting and silicon system solutions. News from Philips is located at www.semiconductors.philips.com.
Explore more developments dealing with the implementation of Near Field Communications, a short-range wireless technology that promises to revolutionize contactless identification, payment, access, and more. Click to visit NFCNews.