We had what was probably the first BBQ weather of the year over the weekend, but I wouldn’t know about that. Instead I spent the time coding away at the NFC Hackathon (sponsored by O2) with my fellow team members George Medve and Aaron Newton.

The idea was to spend 28 hours designing and coding something that made use of NFC (Near Field Communication). We were supplied with NFC enabled Galaxy S2s and some useful SDKs from Proxama and BlueVia for tracking NFC campaigns, making payments and tracking users.

We spent the night before the event thinking about just what we could do that was new. Even at this fledgling stage it felt as if everything had been done in some way already, we needed something unique. One idea we explored was transforming shopping by allowing customers to scan NFC price stickers in the many aisles instead of at the till; simply weighing in their shopping at the self checkout (to reduce unpaid bagging) and scanning their phone to transfer the shopping list and payment. Fortunately we didn’t go with this idea as another team at the event did (albeit without the weighing part).

At some point that night another idea came to me, “StreetScreen“. We could allow retailers and advertisers to directly interact with customers by using an NFC sticker in shop windows to initiate a connection between the screen and the phone, and with a multi-user server allow the customer to control the screen in real time.

At the event we used technologies like node.js, HTML, JavaScript and Flash to create some demos including browsing and rotating products, buying flowers for mother’s day and even a 2 player game (see “Connect 4″ game pictured). I’m pleased to say with this we won the Finance category prize sponsored by Visa. Thanks to the truly excellent Isobar and sponsors, the whole event was a lot of fun and I think I’ll be looking forward to developing a product around NFC in the near future.

The potential applications for this technology are endless. The number of NFC enabled handsets is expected to reach 1 in 6 by 2014, but that’s not going to stop us pushing the envelope in the meantime.

If you are interested in using this technology in your campaign please get in touch via the contact form. You can read more about the event over at the Isobar site.

  • Juan Delgado

    Posted: March 30, 2012

    Well done mate : )

    So what's the prize? You guys going to build this or at least be involved in some form or shape?


  • Rich

    Posted: April 4, 2012

    Hey cheers! We're going to an Olympics test event. I am definitely going to turn this into something.

  • Tom Kordys

    Posted: April 15, 2012

    Well done