NFC Forum Announces Best NFC Service Competition

The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, announced a call for entries for Touching the Future: NFC Forum Global Competition. In the competition, developers in a commercial track vie for the honor of having their solutions named “The Best NFC Service of the Year 2008,” while a research track recognizes “The Most Innovative NFC Research Project of the Year 2008.”

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a standards-based, short-range wireless connectivity technology that enables simple and safe two-way interactions among electronic devices. NFC technology allows consumers to perform contactless transactions, access digital content and connect devices with the simplicity of a single touch. NFC technology provides global interoperability of contactless identification and interconnection technologies.

Focusing on the theme “Innovation at Your Fingertips,” the competition is intended to promote the development and deployment of innovative and exemplary NFC services. Entries will be judged on their innovation, commercial potential and usability, as well as quality of design and implementation. The competition’s Organizing Committee is now accepting submissions; all final proposals must be received by February 15, 2008. Twenty finalists will be judged on April 29, 2008 at the NFC Developers Summit, held in Monaco during the WIMA event (www.wima.mc). The winners will be selected by a jury composed of professionals and experts from sponsoring companies. Entry fees are $150 per submission for commercial entrants, and $50 per submission for research entrants.

“One of the most exciting things about NFC technology is how organizations are applying it to the broadest range of applications in new and imaginative ways,” said Christophe Duverne, chairman of the NFC Forum. “This competition recognizes the top innovators in the world while supporting networking in the NFC community to exchange ideas and create new business models.”

The competition is divided into two tracks: a Commercial Track for NFC services based on a business case; and a Research Track open to university students and research institutions. Commercial Track submissions require a business case and prototype; entries will be evaluated on how successfully and innovatively their solutions meet the needs of key vertical market segments. Research Track submissions require a prototype and will be judged on creativity and innovativeness. The Pre-selection Committee will evaluate each entry, and 20 finalists will be announced on March 17, 2008. Each team of finalists will be asked to deliver a presentation and live demonstration at the WIMA event on April 29, 2008, after which the jury will vote to select first-, second- and third-place winners for each track.

Gold sponsors of the competition are NFC Forum members Nokia, Over-C and SCM Microsystems. Silver sponsors are NFC Forum members Inside Contactless, Innovision Research & Technology plc, Stollman E+V GmbH and WIMA. Sponsorship is open to both NFC Forum members and non-members. Sponsors may not enter the competition. Organizations interested in sponsoring the competition may contact sponsorship@nfc-forum.org.

About Near Field Communication Technology
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a standards-based, short-range wireless connectivity technology that enables simple and safe two-way interactions among electronic devices. NFC technology allows consumers to perform contactless transactions, access digital content and connect devices with the simplicity of a single touch. Near Field Communication (NFC) technology provides global interoperability of contactless identification and interconnection technologies. NFC operates in the 13.56 MHz frequency range, over a typical distance of a few centimeters. The underlying layers of NFC technology are based on ISO, ECMA, and ETSI standards. NFC technology is supported by the world’s leading communication device manufacturers, semiconductor producers, network operators, IT and services companies, and financial services organizations. NFC is compatible with hundreds of millions of contactless cards and readers already deployed worldwide.

About the NFC Forum
The NFC Forum, www.nfc-forum.org, was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor and consumer electronics companies. The Forum’s 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 145+ global member companies currently are 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, which hold seats on the Board of Directors, include leading players in key industries around the world. The Sponsor members are: HP, MasterCard International, Microsoft Corp., NEC, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Inc., NXP Semiconductors, Panasonic, Renesas Technology, Samsung, Sony Corporation, and Visa International.