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  • Editing Team 16:56 on July 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: competitions,   

    NFC-enabled Smartphone Sales Grew 300% in 2012 

    NFC-smartphone-rfid-blogAccording to a new research report by Berg Insight, global sales of NFC-equipped smartphones grew 300% in 2012 to reach 140 million units. Annual shipments are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 48.2% and reach a billion units by 2017.

    Wider adoption of NFC in mobile phones began in 2011 and accelerated in 2012 when the top-10 handset vendors released nearly 100 NFC-enabled models.

    NFC technology enables numerous applications such as information exchange, device pairing for establishing Bluetooth or WLAN connections, access control, electronic ticketing and secure contactless payments. However, it will take some time before the stakeholders agree on business models for payment networks and access to secure elements that store the sensitive user information in NFC-enabled handsets.

    “It is the sum of many possible use cases for NFC rather than one single killer application that make the technology compelling for smartphone vendors already today.” said Andre Malm, senior analyst in Berg Insight.

    Nearly all high-end smartphones, with the exception of Apple’s iPhone, support NFC for wireless sharing, mobile payments and more. Companies such as Samsung have heavily promoted the technology to help them get an edge over the competition.

    Andre Malm believes this is just the tip of the iceberg, however. He noted that once developers gain more experience with NFC, we can expect to see “entirely new use cases not yet imagined”.

     
  • Editing Team 13:42 on November 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , competitions, , ,   

    Proximity marketing: NFC vs. Bluetooth & Wi-Fi 

    Near Field Communication (NFC) has been making its way into every aspect of life. For example, NFC tags are embedded in products or on posters and signature. These tags can open a mobile browser in an NFC-enabled device to transmit an offer or message. User simply needs to tap his/her smartphone to the tag to start the communication and receive the transmission wirelessly.

    NFC technology is perhaps mostly used as a mobile payment tool, such as the Google Wallet, which allows wireless payment via a smartphone app. But it’s also starting to appear as a proximity marketing tool in places like city bus stops, subway platforms, shopping mall kiosks and other venues to transmit advertising messages. With NFC in place, retailers have a more convenient way to communicate with consumers in a proximity marketing setting.

    Currently, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are the primary platforms which are used to transmit proximity marketing messages, but some analysts expect NFC to become a competitive rival. Some even believe that NFC will eventually overtake other proximity marketing communication methods and become the dominant means.

    However, there are significant obstacles:

    ■To use the NFC tag to receive messages, users may have to download an app, while virtually every smartphone already comes equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities.

    ■Another potential barrier is that NFC ad campaigns require consumers to initiate the engagement. First, they have to read the poster or sign, and then they have to decide to tap their device to receive the message. Since many consumers are already engaged with content on their devices in public spaces, they are less likely to notice the invitation to receive the message.

    ■Besides, since NFC has a limited transmission field, consumers must not only notice the printed ad and decide to make the connection, they must get close enough to the NFC tag to initiate the message. So it’s an open question whether or not consumers will be willing to read and respond to advertising messages that require that level of effort on their part.

    In contrast, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-based proximity marketing campaigns use a technology that is already standard on nearly all handsets to deliver an opt-in message directly to the device that consumers already use for most of their communications on the go. Consumers are not required to initiate the transmission; instead, a well-designed Bluetooth/Wi-Fi campaign sends a message to all consumers who came within a range as far away as 300 feet. Consumers who opt to receive the marketing message can do so by simply touching their device screen.

    Bluetooth is a ubiquitous wireless data sharing tool pre-installed on practically all smartphones, and consumers are now used to using Wi-Fi in public places. Both technologies are familiar. Consumers generally consider that they can safely receive messages via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi without unwittingly transmitting private data. This familiarity gives Bluetooth and Wi-Fi a distinct advantage over competing technologies when it comes to proximity marketing.

    So perhaps it’s not so wise to ask whether or not NFC will overtake Bluetooth and Wi-Fi — who says there can’t be multiple methods of conveying proximity marketing messages to consumers?

    Among a number of methods to conveying messages — including print, radio and online ads, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are particularly effective in the proximity marketing space, because they initiate communication via a tool — the smartphone — to which consumers reliably and voluntarily devote their attention. But since NFC brings a lot of conveniences and is getting more and more popular, there’s no reason enterprises can’t take an “all of the above” approach. After all, the key is to examine potential ROI and make the right decision.

     
  • Editing Team 13:00 on October 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: competitions, finance, ,   

    FNB (South Africa) “Dabbling” in NFC 

    South-Africa-FNB-NFC-rfid-blogFirst National Bank (FNB) CEO Michael Jordaan says that the bank is “dabbling” in near field communication (NFC) technology.

    “We are dabbling in it (NFC),” he said. However, he stressed that much of the change in the banks technology ecosystem would continue to center on banking cards.

    FNB’s eBucks CEO, Jolandé Duvenage, pointed to careful strategy planning by the bank, saying that it did not want to take on new technology simply for the sake of it.

    Jordaan noted that, while a number of the latest smartphones on the market included NFC capabilities, the majority of phones used in South Africa were not NFC-enabled.

    The CEO did, however, confess that he was “terrified” of the competition in the banking industry, but added that he welcomed competition.

    Jordaan was being questioned over the possibility of another bank in the country launching a rival service to eBucks. “We would be terrified,” he said, adding that anything other banks did “threatens us (FNB)”. He said that players in the financial services industry watched each other “with an eagle eye”.

     
  • Editing Team 08:33 on October 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: competitions, , , , ,   

    Why Should Retailers Adopt RFID? 

    retailer-tag-rfid-blogMany retailers may have a common concern: when it comes to RFID, am I ahead of, behind or out of the game? Clearly, RFID adoption is on their minds.

    In order to be competitive in the marketplace, retailers must have high inventory accuracy. According to studies from Auburn University and the University of Arkansas, RFID can improve inventory accuracy from an industry average of 60% or less to more than 95%. And if retailers can improve the inventory accuracy to 95%, many retail problems are solved or reduced — out-of-stocks go down, safety stock or unnecessary stock declines, and sales and/or margins improve.

    Now the answers to the retailers’ question are clear: If you have fully deployed RFID throughout your stores — tagging all items in all stores — you are ahead. If you have not started considering potential uses for RFID in your stores, you are behind.

    Over the past few years, there have been a significant number of retailers adopting RFID, particularly those in apparel (both specialty and department stores). Yet the number of retailers not deploying the technology is still large, too.

    However, the fact is that any retailer without RFID has an inventory accuracy problem. Many retailers know they have a problem but do not want to admit it, while others even fail to realize it — they look at existing data and assume all is well, yet in fact they are relying on bad information. There are still some retailers who realize they have a problem and spend lots of resources trying to correct it. They typically hire more workers to manually scan the barcodes on items, which is expensive and inefficient.

    To solve a problem, one needs to acknowledge the problem. Then good data is needed to fix the problem. Finally it comes to addressing the related cost concerns. Tracking items with RFID provides good data and is more cost-effective than increasing labor resources.

    In the near future, retailers will require RFID to be competitive. It’s time for all retailers to ask, “Am I using or planning to use RFID to improve inventory accuracy?” If the answer is no, it’s time to take steps to get into the game.

     
  • Editing Team 22:50 on September 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Samsung’s Defeat to Apple May Be a Good Thing for NFC 

    Apple-Samsung-NFC-Galaxy-S3-rfid-blogRecently Apple has won a lawsuit against Samsung, which led to a potential import ban placed on Samsung. Yet it may be a good thing for mobile payments and NFC. Here are the reasons why:

    First, the phones on the ban list are going or have been out of date. Although some are still on sale in carrier stores, very few of them are enabled with NFC. Fortunately, Samsung’s latest and greatest phones, such as the Galaxy S III, are not listed.

    Second, Samsung has a big market share in the US. In this case, many carriers will have to clear their shelves of the phones listed in the ban. Customers may have fewer Samsung choices, but at the same time they are more inclined to buy the newer models, such as the upcoming NFC-enabled Galaxy Relay. Let’s think of it in another way: right now you have about 10 phone choices, 2 of which have NFC, so the probability of buying an NFC-equipped phone is 1/5; now Apple forces carriers to remove 4 of those 10 phones, which luckily to have no NFC, so now the probability rises to 1/3.

    Yes, Samsung is being ordered to pay more than $1 billion in damages to Apple, but they could reduce the amount they have to pay by setting up a buy-back or replacement program for their phones that are listed in the judgment against them. Although they may have to suffer some losses, if they replace the phones, they can get around issues caused by a patent suit.

    Besides, this case may be in appeals for many years, so Samsung will more likely pay a great deal less than what was ordered — or possibly nothing.

    Even though the judge may still ban the import of some phones into the U.S., the Galaxy S III will not be banned. Samsung is now offering its Galaxy S III through all the top carriers, and even through mobile virtual network operators like Virgin and MetroPCS. Samsung wants to get as many Galaxy S III phones on the market as they can, and into the hands of as many users as possible. At the end of the day, every single Galaxy S III sold creates another consumer with NFC mobile payment capabilities.

    As a saying goes “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”, it may also possible to see Google partner with Samsung. Apple has got a lot of enemies, so don’t be surprised if global giants like Microsoft, Nokia, HTC, and others jump in with negative image campaigns against Apple. That would benefit Samsung in turn.

    So it’s possible that Samsung may laugh last. Samsung may already lose $1 billion from the lawsuit. If they must take that hit and lose that cash, why let it end up in Apple’s pockets if they don’t have to?

     
  • Editing Team 17:54 on August 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , competitions, , , , , ,   

    Mobile Wallet & NFC — the Next Patents Battleground 

    NFC-mobile-wallet-war-Google-Apple-Microsoft-rfid-blogLast week, a California court decided Samsung infringed on various patents related to the iPhone and Apple was awarded $1 billion. Thus far, the smartphone wars entered a critical phase.

    Yesterday, Robin Dua, Google Wallet project manager, announced that he wanted to add more features to the app, including support for movie tickets, boarding passes, ID cards, and gift cards. The idea is to leave your leather wallet at home and carry your phone to do all transactions from getting a bus to buying a coffee.

    However, at the WWDC in July, Apple also demonstrated a new Passbook app that allows users to gather all their passes in one place, including boarding passes and sports tickets. The app enables users to scan coupons with their iPhones or iPod touch devices, such as getting into a concert or checking into hotels.

    Yet, Microsoft also has big plans for this area. It appears to be progressing with its WalletHub for Windows Phone 8, emphasizing enhanced security. At a recent Windows Phone keynote, Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore demonstrated the NFC capabilities of forthcoming devices. He also talked about NFC tags in posters for apps, or using NFC to execute a call to a taxi, or using tags on business cards to receive contact information.

    Although NFC is the one area that Apple has been very quiet about, it does make sense that a device as predominant as the iPhone will play a role in this rapidly unfolding m-commerce area.

    As many people expect, mobile payment and digital wallet could be the next big thing in the next five years. So what’s the next big move from these mobile giants? Stay tuned as we’ll be learning more about it.

     
  • Editing Team 14:28 on August 24, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , competitions, , ,   

    NFC Payments Coming to McDonald’s 

    McDonalds-NFC-payment-PayPal-rfid-blogSince the potential of NFC mobile payments is so attractive, the mobile payment war is heating up. Companies are racing to become the default mobile payment platform at your favorite fast food franchise.

    According to a new report, McDonald’s is currently testing a mobile payment deployment with PayPal, at its 30 locations in France. The sites are already wired for NFC, and therefore already accept tap-to pay for hamburgers.

    Although neither company has made any official announcement, the technology is “coming within the next 24 months or so,” according to a McDonald’s spokesperson.

    This system is different from PayPal’s two existing in-store payment systems. The French trial features a smartphone app or a website from which customers can order and pay for food with their PayPal account, using their NFC-enabled smartphones. The customer can then pick up the food in a separate line, bypassing the normal ordering process.

    To PayPal, it is a significant deal. Bagging Starbucks is a big win for Square, bagging McDonalds would be an even-bigger win for PayPal, as with over 30,000 restaurants worldwide, McDonald’s potential deal with the payments company would represent a larger business and cultural footprint for PayPal than perhaps any other mobile payments company in operation.

    PayPal’s pay-with-an-app payment system in France will directly compete with the Pay with Square system. Some may wonder why PayPal — a company that tends to hold its plans very close to the vest — let news about the small trial in France leak to the press. Well, maybe PayPal wants the marketplace to be aware that it is working in this area, too.

     
  • Editing Team 10:55 on August 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: competitions, , , ,   

    Mobile Payment War: MCX to Challenge Google Wallet 

    MCX-Google-Wallet-mobile-payment-rfid-blogAs the mobile payment is still in its infancy, many retail giants want to get a piece of this big cake. Google is now faced with a new challenge from Wal-Mart, Target and a dozen more of the nation’s largest retailers. They are teaming up to take on Google and the wireless companies.

    The new group is called the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) and is developing a mobile application that will allow customers to pay for goods at participating stores with their smartphones. The app will also give users exclusive coupons and deals.

    In addition to Wal-Mart and Target, the consortium comprises 7-Eleven, Best Buy, CVS, Lowe’s, Publix, Sears, Shell, Sunoco, HMSHost, Hy-Vee, Alon and Darden Restaurants. They believe that with its scale of roughly $1 trillion altogether in annual sales, they’ll emerge as the standard for mobile payments.

    “We believe MCX is uniquely qualified to offer the most comprehensive mobile payment options for consumers,” said Terry Scully, president of financial and retail services at Target, in a prepared statement. “By participating in MCX, merchants are in a position to effectively deliver innovative payment approaches that aren’t available today.”

    It’s an ambitious project, but some other giants in the technology and retail sectors have shared it before it emerged.

    For example, Google has partnered with Citigroup, MasterCard, Sprint, and a growing list of other financial institutions and wireless providers, to form “Google Wallet”, a method of paying by tapping a smartphone on a particular kind of reader. Last year, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, JPMorgan Chase, Capital One and Barclays also worked together to form ISIS, another mobile wallet system.

    Earlier this month, Starbucks announced that it would begin accepting payments from Square, yet another emerging company in the mobile payments space. In addition, eBay’s PayPal and Intuit also have mobile wallet solutions available for smartphones.

    There’s no doubt that all of these competitors expect to share the mobile payment market which is believed to hit $617 billion by 2016, up from $171.5 billion this year, according to technology consultancy Gartner.

    The problem facing the industry is fragmentation: for all the competitors in the space, they have yet to come up with a standard solution that will allow all of the various mobile wallet systems to work interchangeably.

    Both Isis and Google Wallet are theoretically “open” services, which means any card company, carrier, manufacturer or even mobile operating system can participate. But so far, each has mostly gone in its own direction. For example, Verizon, an Isis member, has banned the Google Wallet app on its smartphones.

    Of course there is some movement on that front: all four national wireless carriers, PayPal, Google, and most of the major credit card companies announced last week that they had formed a working group to hammer out some industry best practices.

    Meanwhile, MCX believes its retail-based solution will prove superior to its rivals’. “As merchants, no one understands our customers’ shopping and payment experience better than we do,” said Mark Williams, president of financial services at Best Buy. “We’re confident that together we can develop a technology solution that makes that experience more engaging, convenient and efficient.”

     
  • Editing Team 10:19 on August 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    NXP Leads the Growing Contactless Ticketing Market 

    NXP-Semiconductor-MiFare-contactless-ticketing-rfid-blogAccording to a report from ABI Research, NXP Semiconductors still dominates the contactless ticketing market despite strong competition from key market players like Austriamicrosystems, Infineon and Samsung. NXP claims that its line of MiFare solutions has played an important role in maintaining its position in the market. The company had 70 percent market share in 2011 due to its mart card and RFID ticketing IC shipments.

    ”Contactless smart ticketing used to be adopted only by those large flagship cities across the world. We are now starting to see contactless ticketing solutions adopted by smaller towns and cities, who realize the benefits and potential ROI contactless technology can achieve. For example, the transport authorities within Newcastle, Bradford, and Manchester in the UK are all looking into contactless ticketing adoption, inspired by the London Oyster card,” says John Devlin, Practice director at ABI Research.

    The overall contactless ticketing market continues to grow at a double digit rate (YoY) and is bringing in new market players, whilst allowing those already active and dominant to maintain a strong position in the years to come.

     
  • Derek Du 01:59 on April 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , competitions, ,   

    Creativity and application of China’s Internet of Things Competition 

    RFID-BLOGFrom Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Wuxi “Internet of things” Technology Park at August 2009, to “speed up the Internet of things technology development in China” writes into the annual government report by March 2010. The concept of “Internet of Things” has never been taken so seriously like today in China.

    On 27th April, the first “Creativity and application of China’s Internet of Things Competition” was officially launched in Shanghai. The purpose of this competition is to find good business ideas about Internet of Things and promote the applications on the Internet of Things. Government officials from Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and Chinese Academy of Sciences have attended the opening ceremony.

    Competition will last 3 months, creativity and application is the two sub-parts of the competition.All creative work, commercial design, application examples and innovative business models about the Internet of Things are welcome nationwide, the final winners will be announced in September this year. Will you join in? click here then.

     
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