O2’s consumer trial of Near Field Communication (NFC) starting this week will see NFC tags being used by mobile phone subscribers for the first time in the UK. The Topaz tags, provided by Innovision Research & Technology, will be part of the first major trial being conducted by mobile phone operator O2 with 500 specially selected subscribers supplied with Nokia 6131 NFC-enabled handsets and a supply of NFC tags. The trial, which starts today in London and continues for six months, will enable mobile phone subscribers to put NFC to the test. While Topaz tags will be used on smart posters put up by Transportation for London for their use, Innovision will also give tags to the trial participants allowing them to program the tags for their own use.
NFC goes mainstream in first UK consumer trial
Innovision takes NFC tags mainstream in O2’s first Near Field Communication consumer trial
Wednesday 28 November 2007, London, UK – O2’s consumer trial of Near Field Communication (NFC) starting this week will see NFC tags being used by mobile phone subscribers for the first time in the UK. The Topaz tags, provided by Innovision Research & Technology, will be part of the first major trial being conducted by mobile phone operator O2 with 500 specially selected subscribers supplied with Nokia 6131 NFC-enabled handsets and a supply of NFC tags.
The trial, which starts today in London and continues for six months, will enable mobile phone subscribers to put NFC – a short-range wireless communications technology – to the test. The technology, in which interest is growing rapidly, is being adopted enthusiastically by the mobile community because of the huge benefits around cashless payments, ticketing and peer-to-peer communication, as well as applications like smart posters that provide easy access to relevant information when and where you need it just by touching the tags with a phone.
Topaz tags, provided to the trial participants in a ‘virtual wallet’, are pre-programmed with useful information like partner website URL links and telephone numbers, while the triallists themselves can programme others. Innovision believes the most interesting aspect, however, will be seeing how consumers programme the Topaz tags and what innovative uses they can find for them.
“This trial is very exciting as it is the first of its kind in the UK, and we are delighted to be invited to be a major partner alongside O2 and Nokia,” explains Ken Robertson, who manages the Contactless Tags and Ticketing business at Innovision Research & Technology. “What will be interesting is how the triallists use the tags and what innovative applications they come up with.”
Innovision will be providing programming help to triallists over the course of the six-day launch.
The Company has been actively encouraging design engineers to come up with innovative NFC tag applications with their recently launched UK NFC Innovation Awards, due to be judged next month (http://www.innovision-group.com/nfcinnovationawards.php).
“We’ve already seen a range of interesting uses for NFC tags coming out over recent months, including devices that can describe aloud supermarket product information, accessed via tags, to partially sighted individuals, and pre-programmed tags stuck on fridge doors so children can just touch a tag with a mobile device to let mum know that they’re home,” adds Robertson. “The opportunities are endless.”
Innovision will be participating in O2’s media event on Wednesday 28 November at One Marylebone Road, London. The company will be demonstrating NFC applications including a ‘day in the life of NFC’, showing how NFC will become an integral part of our life in the future.
About Innovision Research & Technology plc
Innovision Research & technology plc, is leading the next generation of NFC/RFID solutions. As the leading fabless developer of Short-Range Data Communication semiconductor and system solutions, with particular focus on NFC/RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) and ultra low-cost Integrated Circuit (IC) and RF electronic design, IRT is pushing cost performance to enable clients to get maximum utility for minimum cost.
The company develops innovative semiconductor technologies, ICs, RF systems (HF/UHF) and complete end product applications for mass volume commercialisation and then licenses customers for its incorporation into their own products.
At the heart of the emerging Near Field Communication (NFC) market, Innovision R&T designs and develops NFC/RFID IC solutions for the global mobile handset and consumer device sectors.
Products include Topaz, mandated by the NFC Forum as the NFC number one tag type format, Jewel for mass transit ticketing applications, and io, the world’s smallest standards compatible Near-Field RFID reader.
Headquartered in the UK, Innovision R&T was listed in 2001 on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange (ticker symbol:INN).