The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association aimed at advancing the global use of NFC technology, announced the winners of the NFC Forum Global Competition 2010 at the organization’s all-member meeting in Karlshamn, Sweden.
The competition was divided into two sectors: the Commercial Track for business ideas that address a specific market, business, or consumer need or want, and the Research Track for the academic community, including university student teams and institutions.
The field comprised 20 finalists, 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 experts and senior professionals from academia and sponsoring companies.
Entries were judged based on their innovation, commercial potential and usability, as well as on quality of design and implementation.
The first-place winner in the Commercial Track, “The Best NFC Service of the Year 2010,” is NEXPERTS (Austria) for Touch & Pay, a self-service shopping solution. With Touch & Pay, 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, says NFC Forum.
The runner up in the Commercial Track is ITN International Inc. (USA) for BCARD Reader – NFC Ecosystem for Events and Tradeshows. The BCARD Reader is an NFC ecosystem designed to manage and enhance the information exchange process at events, trade shows 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 health care 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 enables teachers to tag objects that students then investigate and explore. The system provides exercises, registers student achievement, and keeps teachers up-to-date with student progress. 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.
Winners in each track were awarded cash prizes: first-place received 5,000 euros, second-place 1,500 euros, and third-place 1,000 euros.