NFC (Near Field Communication) allows information to be exchanged wirelessly with mobile devices, such as NFC-enabled smartphones. Many present-days devices (Android, Blackberry and Windows) already feature such an interface. Data are transmitted over short distances (maximum 4 cm), and can be sent or received. The most common function will be mobile payment.
Besides mobile payment, many cross-media marketing solutions are made possible with NFC. That is because, to read data stored on an NFC tag, there is no need to start an additional App – the smartphone just needs to be held near the marked area containing the NFC tag. The tag can point, for example, to a link, to ready-made Tweets or can direct the user to your Facebook page.
PAV has been involved in NFC for many years and has developed a whole range of exciting products for cross-media and barrier-free marketing, such as Near Response Mailing and NFCar.
Near Response Mailing is a dialogue marketing solution developed by PAV that links print and online media by wireless communication. It is based on an NFC tag embedded in paper by PAV. A special production technology is used to integrate NFC chips in print media, for example in direct mailings. Simple information can be stored on the data storage medium, such as individual Tweets or a link to a landing page.
All that needs to be done to read the data is to hold an NFC-enabled smartphone close to the NFC tag. A special App is not required.
The service package also includes a tracking system that enables you to display the number of hits. Our Near Response Mailing product was chosen from among 4,900 submissions as one of the best IT solutions for medium-sized enterprises, in the AutoID/RFID category, by a jury composed of 100 experts. The Mailing solution was also chosen by visitors to the ‘Mailingtage’ cross-media fair as the most creative campaign.
You know the situation? You’re in an unfamiliar city and don’t know where you left your car before going shopping? Well, that’s now a thing of the past. Our NFCar parking disc with integrated NFC tag allows you to find your parked car.
It is currently used to advertise the Vodafone Wallet (the digital wallet in your smartphone: pay quickly, easily and reliably by NFC). This rather playful approach is aimed at raising customer awareness for potential use of contactless technologies for mobile payment. The NFCar smartphone app boasts some special features.
Whereas other apps are not opened until after the car has been parked, and the user must then be given the command to save the car’s location, this process is must faster and more convenient with NFCar. All that users need to do is hold their smartphone against the parking disc and the current position is automatically stored. The location can also be corrected, if so desired.
The PrintStars jury was also convinced by our NFC parking disc solution. In 2014, NFCar is a finalist for the Innovation Award of the German Printing Industry. This is considered the most important award conferred by the industry and is now being held for the eleventh time. A total of 449 products in 28 categories have been proposed.
In addition to classical contactless RFID cards, we also produce NFC cards (tag type 2+4). The feature that makes our NFC cards unique is that they have an antenna with a particularly small module (tag type 2). That means there are hardly any layout restrictions when personalising the cards. We also also able to equip the cards with additional storage or microcontroller chips, thus making the cards suitable for security applications, among others. Our NFC cards in credit-card quality have a long service life, in accordance with the ISO standard. All cards can be read and written into using NFC-capable mobile phones.
NFC cards are used not only for mobile payment, but also and above all in cross-media marketing due to the easy with which they can be integrated into the EC-Cash infrastructure already in place. With additional apps, companies can provide their customers with further value-added, such as automatic retrieval of points with one’s smartphone. Videos showing the latest weekly offers can also be stored on the plastic medium. As soon as the customer moves his smartphone near the area marked, the video is shown. The content is managed in a special cloud and can thus be changed and flexibly controlled to suit requirements.
NFC cards are also suitable as smart visiting cards. The contact’s data are stored electronically on the card. When an NFC-capable smartphone is held near the NFC visiting card, the data are read out and stored, if wanted.
Touchscreens are a revelation for the blind. Apple was the first computer manufacturer to realise this, and made its mobile devices barrier-free using VoiceOver and other technologies. By using VoiceOver, blind people can learn from a computer voice what is happening on their smartphone screen and what they need to do to open an email that has just been received.
But what happens when a blind person receives a printed letter that is not in Braille? Who reads it out loud? Until now, special and expensive equipment has been used for that purpose. At health insurance funds, for example, large numbers of employees are appointed to read out letters on the telephone. To allow such staff to concentrate on the core business instead, PAV developed a solution called NFC to Speech. A tag is embedded in the letter. The content of the letter is digitally stored on the tag and its location is marked in Braille. When a smartphone is held near the tag, the NFC to Speech apps opens and reads out the letter to the addressee.
NFC to Speech is available for Android devices from the Google Playstore. The solution provided by PAV can do more than read letters. The app could also be used to manage objects, for example spice shakers.