Posts Tagged ‘nfc’

Taxi safe return home service in Seoul

Apparently taxis can be dangerous for ladies at night in Seoul. So there is a program called the Safe Return Home Service now in Seoul.

How does it work? The assumption is that many people have NFC enabled phones. They just need to tap their phone on this NFC-enabled pad, and automatically a text message is sent to one’s guardian giving the taxi’s model, current time & location, and probably more.


This ensures that you now travel with a better sense of security. Read the press release, which suggests this is a program from SK Planet (I’ve had the pleasure of working with this group in the past).

I think something like this can be really useful in markets like Malaysia, where the taxi system requires a serious overhaul.

Poken: Business cards made social

This weekend, I was introduced to a neat device, called a Poken, by my friend Preetam Rai.

You google. You text. You chat. Do you Poken?

What is a Poken you ask? A cute little device (that comes with several different characters, one of which is a geisha even), that is the business card of the 21st century! Its a USB device, that contains a “key”, which pairs to your profile online that you create on their website. It then uses Near Field Communications (NFC) to “beam” business cards over (you do this via touch – the term beam seems so 1998, ala what Palm used to call it). When you get back to your computer, you can now see all the contacts you’ve met, and connect with them on the social networks that they’re on. Limited profiles exist as well, so maybe all you want to do is share an email address.

Nifty, yes? The problem with traditional business cards is that when you get back after an event, you have to parse them. The Poken takes away this trouble, as its all point and click. The device sells for about USD$27 at Bic Camera in Japan, though if you get it in bulk online, its about USD$16 with postage.

Can this work in Malaysia? At a little over RM50 (RM100 retail), I might be a tad bit sceptical. However, its all the rage in Japan. Its not for sale in South East Asia (yet), and its much cheaper than a Palm device than can beam over business cards… What do you think?

The Poken itself, is not a social network. It just carries contact information. I found it interesting (in a limiting sense), that you could only carry 64 contacts at one time, before syncing. So if you happen to meet a 65th person, your first contact gets lost!

Elsewhere on the Web, Crunchgear has a review, which is the Japanese site (they were smart – they sold Poken’s in night clubs! They even have Poken meetups, and more), and last but not least, check out a video, from a Google Tech Talk, titled Poken: Extending Online Social Networking Into the Real World.

And in case you can’t see the embedded video above (coming in via an RSS reader or something), check out the Poken playlist.

Near Field Communication (NFC) at JavaOne

Talk was given by Jaana Majakangas, from Nokia Corporation. I’ve been interested in NFC ever since I heard about it, as its something Maxis has been trialling for a while in Malaysia. It reminds me of rewinding back many years (maybe a decade ago?) when Celcom was trying to allow people to purchase a Coke from select vending machines, using SMS (no cash!). That never took off, but maybe NFC will be right, soon… Current limitation? Lack of devices – one in market (Nokia 6131) and another announced, but not in market. Also, the standard (JSR 257) has been extended by Nokia, which is always an issue for other implementers.

Some quick notes:

  • JSR 257 is what this is all about.
  • Simple wireless protocol between NFC compliant tags and devices in close proximity. New business opportunities for mobile operators, banks, retailers, transport operators, etc.
  • You can share content between phones/pair devices like Bluetooth. You can get further information by “touching” smart posters. Your phone can be your credit card for payment… it can also be your travel card.
  • Service discovery. Nokia has got extensions to the JSR 257 standard for this in their implementations.
  • Think outside of the box, be innovative, the technology is there, there are many use cases
  • Contactless communication API has been around since 2004. RFID tag, smart card, visual tags. Java applications to access the hardware capabilities (RFID for instance).
    – NDEF tag (RFID tag, with NFC standard)
  • There is a dedicated Connection interface for different targets. You will get a notification when a transaction has happened.
  • When you discover a target, the application will get a notification. It has the URL that you will open the connection with. Communicate… then close connection.
  • Nokia 6131 NFC has extensions to JSR 257: get the SDK at Forum Nokia. The extension also includes the peer-to-peer communication framework. In a modified version of JSR 257, the P2P communication will exist soon as well.
  • Business cards that go to NFC devices and contact details are there? Wow, this is Business Card 2.0 :)
  • NFC works within less than 10cm. Its pretty “near”.
  • “Touch to share bookmark”… touch two devices together, and voila! there is instant sharing. I’m reminded of old Palm ads when they were pushing their IR technology and beaming business cards across trains between a man and a woman!
  • NFC enables new consumer services with mobile devices. Take away that you should just be creative, and lots can happen.