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NFC tags from Innovision to be used in O2 consumer trial.

Innovision : 28 November, 2007  (Application Story)
Cashless m-payment system from O2 to go on trial using Nokia phones and Topaz near field communication tags supplied by Innovision.
O2's consumer trial of Near Field Communication (NFC) starting this week will see NFC tags being used by mobile phone subscribers for the first time in the UK. The Topaz tags, provided by Innovision Research & Technology, will be part of the first major trial being conducted by mobile phone operator O2 with 500 specially selected subscribers supplied with Nokia 6131 NFC-enabled handsets and a supply of NFC tags.

The trial, which starts today in London and continues for six months, will enable mobile phone subscribers to put NFC - a short-range wireless communications technology - to the test. The technology, in which interest is growing rapidly, is being adopted enthusiastically by the mobile community because of the huge benefits around cashless payments, ticketing and peer-to-peer communication, as well as applications like smart posters that provide easy access to relevant information when and where you need it just by touching the tags with a phone.

Topaz tags, provided to the trial participants in a 'virtual wallet', are pre-programmed with useful information like partner website URL links and telephone numbers, while the triallists themselves can programme others. Innovision believes the most interesting aspect, however, will be seeing how consumers programme the Topaz tags and what innovative uses they can find for them.

"This trial is very exciting as it is the first of its kind in the UK, and we are delighted to be invited to be a major partner alongside O2 and Nokia," explains Ken Robertson, who manages the Contactless Tags and Ticketing business at Innovision Research & Technology. "What will be interesting is how the triallists use the tags and what innovative applications they come up with."

Innovision will be providing programming help to triallists over the course of the six-day launch.

The Company has been actively encouraging design engineers to come up with innovative NFC tag applications with their recently launched UK NFC Innovation Awards, due to be judged next month.

"We've already seen a range of interesting uses for NFC tags coming out over recent months, including devices that can describe aloud supermarket product information, accessed via tags, to partially sighted individuals, and pre-programmed tags stuck on fridge doors so children can just touch a tag with a mobile device to let mum know that they're home," adds Robertson. "The opportunities are endless."

Innovision will be participating in O2's media event on Wednesday 28 November at One Marylebone Road, London. The company will be demonstrating NFC applications including a 'day in the life of NFC', showing how NFC will become an integral part of our life in the future.

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