THE FIRST EUROPEAN NFC COMPETITION, “TOUCHING THE FUTURE” ANNOUNCES WINNERS

WAKEFIELD, Mass., USA — April 27, 2007 — The NFC Forum (www.nfc-forum.org), 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.

Participants of the First European NFC Competition
Participants of the First European NFC Competition

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.

Jury member Gerhard Romen from Nokia with Albert II, Prince of Monaco
Jury member Gerhard Romen from Nokia with Albert II, Prince of Monaco

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, oc@nfc-competition.com.

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.

Presentation of the Seeingeyephone
Presentation of the Seeingeyephone

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.

First European NFC Competition “Touching the Future” winners celebrate in Monaco

Second-place prizes for Track A were awarded to the following entries:

  • “ToP Trainer — NFC Personal Trainer,” submitted by Top Tunniste Oy and its team of Alexey Chugunov, Janne Pyrrö and Pauli Tossavainen.
  • “Over-C’s Vacant Property NFC Application,” submitted by Over-C UK, Ltd. and its team of Michael Elliott, John Bridge, Chris Broughton, Ben Parrish, Claire Butler and Mark Gostlow.
  • “Commercially available multi application NFC-Phone in Hanau,” submitted by Rhein-Main Verkehrsverbund team member Peter Preuss.
  • “Mobile NFC payment using a multi-application SIM card,” submitted by Gemalto and its team of Jean-Pierre Tual, Vincent Veran and Rémi Guidet.

Track B second-place winners were:

  • “HOTELNOVA,” submitted by MIS MDBS and its team of Thomas de Lazzari, Jean-Louis Agostini and Julien Cheype.
  • “Oystar – Mobile Loyalty software,” submitted as a joint collaboration of the Project Bureau, UK (David Slocombe, Adrian Ashley) and the team of Razum, R&D Studio, Slovenia (Dane Šoba, Rok Jamnik, Žiga Hajduković).
  • “Mobile Sales Assistant for retailers (MSA),” submitted by Institute of Electronic Business e.V. and its team of Stephan Karpischek and Stephan Hamacher.
  • “iO open; Home is not far away,” submitted by Nedap and its team of Rob Schuurman and Jan Hendrik Croockewit.

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 SmartTouch
SmartTouch is an ITEA/Eureka project that emphasizes NFC technology use in practical applications. The project consists of 21 partners from eight European countries: Alcatel-Lucent, Buscom, City of Oulu, Dan Company, ENSICAEN, Gemalto, Idesco, IDesia, Innovision Research and Technology, K.U. Leuven, MedicTouch, Nokia, Nordea, Philips CE, the Innovation Lab, Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund, Robotiker, Telefónica Investigación y Desarrollo S.A. Unipersonal, TeliaSonera, Telvent Tráfico y Transporte, S.A., ToP Tunniste, and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. For more information, see http://www.smarttouch.org.

About the NFC Forum
The NFC Forum was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. The Forum’s mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market about NFC technology. The Forum’s 110 global member companies currently are developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery, and device capability.

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 http://www.nfc-forum.org.

If you have any questions in this press release or other about the competition please contact the organising committee under oc [at] nfc-competition [dot] com.
Br,
Gerhard Romen,
Florian Resatsch,
Serge Miranda,
Tua Huomo,
Daniel Michelis,
Joanna Merchie

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