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NFC World Congress, Day 2...

Today was the second (and last) day of the NFC World Congress here in lovely Nice, France. There was a noticeable increase in activity and attendees relative to day 1, as today all the booths were filled and the show floor bustling with NFC solutions providers from all parts of the world.

While the NFC World Congress is certainly not lacking in representation from suppliers offering NFC solutions for internal enterprise use, much of the buzz at this year’s show is surrounding customer-facing solutions that leverage consumers’ mobile devices, especially smartphones. Many exhibitors expressed expectations that the recent wave of NFC-capable smartphone announcements will drive consumer-level adoption of the technology and result in a corresponding bump in enterprise demand for customer-facing NFC solutions.

Some of the interesting customer-facing solutions we observed included the following:

  • Duali was demonstrating its multi-function smart NFC device, which is essentially a tablet form factor that can support a range of applications. The company was featuring its unique perspective on an old loyalty concept—the punch card (e.g., buy 10, get the 11th free). By replacing the punch card with a customer’s NFC smartphone and integrating the NFC smart device with the POS solution, enterprises gain enhanced control and business intelligence from such rewards programs.

  • Connectthings displayed its smart poster solution targeted at mass transit providers. By tapping a NFC-enabled device on the poster, a transit rider is able to acquire an up-to-date bus/rail schedule tailored to the date and time the information is accessed. Through localization, the smart posters support targeted, geographically relevant advertising for nearby businesses as well.

  • AIRTAG featured its recently released NFC-based loyalty and promotional solution. The solution is comprised of an Android/iOS app and reader (approximately the size of a payment terminal) that is integrated with the POS, and enables traditional loyalty functionality, as well as targeted offers based on past purchase history. For those shoppers who do not yet have NFC but want mobile loyalty, the solution also supports 2D barcodes.

That's all from Nice…it’s been an exciting and informative visit.

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