Digital media agency Isobar has announced the winners of its Create 48 NFC Hackathon, an event bringing together developers to create NFC applications for next generation devices like the Google Nexus S and Nokia N9 handsets.
The Boston event drew some 40 designers and developers, as well as experts from Google, Nokia, Tieto, ICS, the MIT Enterprise Forum and startup Tagstand. The teams collaborated to produce nine working NFC prototypes in just 48 hours.
A panel of judges culled from Google, Nokia, WHERE, Tieto and Isobar evaluated each entry based on 1) Impact on a brand or a business, 2) Impact on consumers, 3) Commercial viability & market potential, and 4) The ‘like never before’ factor (i.e., its ability to change they way we see or experience the world).
The top prize (i.e., a free Nexus S phone) went to team “Beer Pants Meeting,” for its “OnTap” Android solution. The app enables bar and restaurant customers to use their mobile phone to view a menu, place an order, pay for it, then tap an NFC tag to tell the waiter their location. The application also has an NFC social couponing aspect that allows consumers to pay-forward and “plus-up” discounts to their friends anytime with a tap of their NFC phones. Each time the coupon is shared, the deal improves for everyone.
Second and third place went to “The Parking App” by Team “Bazinga” and “BarTap” by Team “WHERE,” respectively. The Parking App allows drivers to use an NFC mobile device to locate nearby garages, access pricing info and availability, get directions and even enter the parking garage by simply tapping the phone against a reader. The app also helps you remember where you parked, provides reminders for when a garage closes, expedites parking validation at NFC kiosks, and lets you choose from a variety of payment options.
Bar Tap is an HTML5 based web application that helps restaurateurs manage barroom rush hour traffic. When a patron walks into a busy restaurant and taps their NFC enabled phone to an NFC tagged coaster or table, they are presented with an option to open a bar tab and pay with PayPal. The patron can scroll down the menu and submit their drink orders directly from their phone. Bartenders receive the order via a tablet, which compiles and manages the various tabs.
Other notable submissions included time tracking application “TimeTap,” and “InfoSwap,” which enables an NFC-like interaction between NFC-enabled devices and devices like the iPhone 4 that do not currently have NFC, using a combination of an NFC tag and push alerts. Another submission, “Confluence,” establishes cross platform NFC communication between NFC-enabled Symbian, MeeGo and Android devices, making it seamless to users no matter what OS their device is using.