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IoT products on display at the NFC Forum Innovation Awards

The NFC Forum recently held its annual NFC Forum Innovation Awards ceremony at the Green Valley Ranch during its member meeting. Almost 100 of the world’s leading near field technology (NFC) technologists gathered to recognize, cheer and fete the three overall winners and the six semifinalists with the most innovative NFC-enabled product, services and applications of 2016. The winners and finalists were selected from almost 100 entries from five continents and represent some of the “best of the best” for NFC innovation. Entries were judged on their innovation, commercial potential and usability, as well as on the quality of design and implementation.

I was impressed not only by the technical and marketing prowess on stage, but also by the fact that over half the winners and finalists used NFC in an IoT solution. This speaks to both the ubiquitousness of IoT and the growing use of NFC as an enabling technology to help make a new IoT product or service work. Below are short write-ups of the two winners and four finalists featuring an IoT solution enabled by NFC.

NFC Forum Innovation award-winning IoT solutions

Speech Code: NFC talking labels
Award: Winner
Category: Most innovative NFC product, service or implementation

Austria-based Speech Code GmbH is the developer of NFC talking labels, the latest generation of data codes for modern smartphones. From signage and retail products to food and beverage packaging, Speech Codes make it easy for people with disabilities, retail shoppers or tourists to use.

Khushi Baby: Wearable health
Award: Winner
Category: Best mobile app winner

Winner of the NFC Innovation Awards in the “Best Mobile App” category, Khushi Baby Inc.’s NFC wearable health mobile application uses NFC mobile technology to enable health workers in India to interface with infant medical data through an NFC tag-enabled digital necklace. The patient record data is synced to the cloud and displayed on our analytics dashboard, where insights can be acted upon by health officials. More than just another approach to digitize the record keeping process, the Khushi Baby system presents a novel community engagement platform; it is not just a necklace or a tool used to provide a health service, but also a powerful social symbol and a potential driver of behavioral change.

NFC Forum Innovation finalist IoT solutions

Finalists receiving a certificate to honor their achievement include:

Blulog: Keeping foods fresh
Award: Finalist
Category: Most innovative NFC product, service or implementation

Based in Poland, startup Blulog uses NFC-enabled data loggers and NFC-connected boxes for customizing and monitoring temperatures in the food-based cold chain — packaging, storage and shipping. Using an NFC-enabled phone, a user can scan the Blulog label positioned on a fridge or food packaging to receive information about current and historical temperature in this specific location.

Apps4Android: Talking label maker
Award: Finalist
Category: Best mobile app

Apps4Android, Inc., an IDEAL Group company (United States), created an NFC-based talking label maker and reader application to assist people with disabilities. Talking NFC tags or labels provide audible guidance for people who cannot visually identify or read the labels on different objects including clothing and food containers, as well as items such as medications and dosage information. The tags are simply affixed to an object, which can thereafter be identified by the owner’s own voice using an NFC-enabled Android smartphone.

Nestech: Talking label maker
Award: Finalist
Category: Best mobile app

Nestech Corp., based in Taiwan, specializes in developing systems for keyless door locks, access control, IP cameras and any other IoT objects. The company’s NFC-based smart key application allows home owners and small hotel managers to manage their properties remotely.

Kuvée: Talking label maker
Award: Finalist
Category: Best NFC startup

Kuvée’s wine-dispensing system uses NFC technology to read the tag on the wine cartridge and convey that information to the dispensing holder’s touchscreen where users can browse and purchase the other wines available and have them shipped to your home.

Other NFC Innovation Award winners included Dimple Inc.’s NFC tag-based programmable buttons that personalize and streamline a user’s daily tasks; East Japan Railway Company’s NFC-based mobile payment system; Suica and Talkin’ Things LLC’s NFC-based global smart packaging system.

The 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.

All IoT Agenda network contributors are responsible for the content and accuracy of their posts. Opinions are of the writers and do not necessarily convey the thoughts of IoT Agenda.