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Vibrant NFC Market Produces Close to 100 Entries in NFC Forum Innovation Awards

The NFC Forum announced today the nine semi-finalists in its NFC Forum Innovation Awards Program. Created to recognize the development and deployment of innovative and exemplary Near Field Communications (NFC) products, services and applications, this year’s competition attracted more than 90 entries from innovators around the world, highlighting the tremendous growth and interest in NFC technology and implementations.

NFC Forum Innovation Award semi-finalist submissions reveal new breakthrough innovations in areas such as consumer and business applications, including connected home, smart health, smart consumer, automotive, "NFC for Good," Internet of Things, gaming, connected retail and transportation. A key reason for this diversity of applications is NFC’s unique ability to operate in three modes: reader/writer, peer-to-peer, and card emulation. Entries in the competition may take advantage of one or more of these operating modes.

A jury composed of global industry leaders evaluated entries and selected three semi-finalists in each of three categories:

  • Most Innovative NFC Product, Service, or Implementation:
    • Blulog (Poland) – NFC-enabled data loggers for customizing and monitoring temperatures within isothermal packaging used in shipping and storage.
    • East Japan Railway Company (Japan) – NFC-based mobile wallet service, “Suica,” which enables local and non-local riders to add and check balances, purchase commuter passes, and secure passage across the high-speed rail anywhere, anytime.
    • Speech Code GmbH (Austria) – NFC tag-based stickers that contain 30-minutes of speech output in over 40 languages.
  • Best Mobile App:
    • Apps4Android, Inc., an IDEAL Group company (United States) – NFC-based talking label maker and reader application to assist people with disabilities.
    • Khushi Baby Inc. (United States) – NFC-enabled wearable health mobile application that allows health workers to interface with patients through a digital necklace.
    • Nestech Corp. (Taiwan) – NFC-based smart key application that allows home owners and small hotel managers manage their properties remotely.
  • Best NFC Startup:
    • Dimple Inc. (Latvia) – NFC tag-based programmable buttons for adding tap and go functionality to a mobile device.
    • Kuvée, Inc. (United States) – NFC-enabled, connected wine dispensing system that allows users to view tasting notes, rate wines and make purchases which are shipped right to your door.
    • Talkin' Things LLC (Poland) – NFC-based global smart packaging system that provides an innovative product communication platform and effective protection against brand-related threats.

"The NFC Forum Innovation Awards attracted scores of entries from around the globe, demonstrating that NFC is inspiring the imaginations of inventors and entrepreneurial businesses across all sectors," said Koichi Tagawa, chairman, NFC Forum. "Widespread use of NFC by consumers is ramping up quickly and the semi-finalists’ innovative uses of NFC highlight the far-reaching applicability of the technology. We commend all the semi-finalists and wish them luck at the award ceremony."

Finalists are invited to the awards ceremony and reception on March 14, 2017, co-located with the NFC Forum Members meeting at the Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas, NV from 6 pm – 8 pm, where the three first-place winners, one in each category, will be announced. Each first-place winner will receive an NFC Innovation Award trophy and will be featured on the NFC Forum website. All nine semi-finalists will receive a complimentary two-night stay at a Las Vegas hotel, an award certificate, an opportunity to showcase their product at the members meeting, global recognition and networking opportunities.

NFC Forum would like to give special thanks to the NFC Innovation Awards sponsor, NXP Semiconductors; media partner Contactless Intelligence; and the award judges: ABI Senior Analyst Phil Sealy, APSCA Chairman Greg Pote, Frog Vice President and Head of Venture Design Ethan Imboden, GSMA Terminals Director Paul Gosden, IEEE Council on RFID Professor Dr. Katina Michael, IHS Principal Analyst Don Tait, SapientNitro Vice President Prashant Mehta, Strategy Analytics Director of Wireless Media Strategies Nitesh Patel, and The Smart Card Alliance Executive Director Randy Vanderhoof. Further details about the competition may be found here.

About the NFC Forum
The NFC Forum's (www.nfc-forum.org) 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 global member companies are currently 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 include Apple Inc., Broadcom Corporation, Dai Nippon Printing Co. Ltd., Google, Inc., Intel, MasterCard Worldwide, NXP Semiconductors, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Corporation, STMicroelectronics, and Visa Inc.

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