Yes, the NRF show has just finished up and Narian Technologies was on the floor showing off its full suite of non-payment NFC services that help retailers maximize profits cost effectively. If you are an NFC enthusiast and haven’t heard of Narian Technologies we only have one thing to say to you - Have you been living under a rock for the last year or so? Narian is far older than a year old though, and led by industry expert, Einar Rosenberg. When Narian isn’t helping the top names in NFC develop new products, services or simply giving consulting services, the firm is hard at work developing and deploying its own full suite of retail services that use NFC to prevent lost sales and maximize profit in retail situations.
Einar Rosenberg has long been known as an expert in NFC related technologies and projects and has years of experience and products behind him. So, when it comes to Narian’s own products and services you may already have the idea that the firm has put all of its know-how into creating something that is not only frictionless but that also helps retail businesses work more efficiently and ultimately make more profit.
“Retailers love the value proposition we are offering,” Rosenberg said.
If we had to simplify everything that the Narian platform does we would simply say it’s a must have set of tools for retailers who put their customer experiences first and know that if they exceed customer expectations the profit will follow and loyalty will be gained. NFC is an enabler and alone doesn’t do too much at all. However, when NFC is added to back end platforms, innovative creative and runs on a back end that records meaningful analytics NFC becomes a very attractive prospect for retailers. There are a myriad of companies developing NFC based retail services, which includes ShelfX and Proximiant who both have very solid offerings that use NFC for POS, receipts, offers and NFC payments in-store.
However, Narian’s approach is a little different. Narian is focused on accountability of staff members in helping customers. Its system also works towards helping customers get the information they need to purchase products. The scope of Narian’s system is very robust and quite frankly too large to fully describe in one post. However, Narian sent us over its latest set of SlideShare presentations that go quite a way to giving a brief overview of some of the services the firm offers. We say some of the services because Narian Technologies is like a rabbit hole. They have developed more retail based services than we can count, and they are just the ones we know about.
Retail is one focus, but restaurants, bars and many other businesses that have customer facing situations would probably benefit from the Narian Technologies suite of services. Because the platform is so customizable it fits with any brand, with any look and even gives merchants their very own app that can be branded.
Out of the presentations that Narian sent us over the above information probably best described the length and breadth of the firm’s NFC based services.
Big changes are set to happen within retail in the next few years and the most progressive firms will likely use NFC based platforms and systems. There are a growing amount of NFC smartphones in the market today and by the end of this year that figure is set to jump to millions of potential customers that have the ability to interact with NFC tags. Narian has partnered with UPM RFID, or Smartrac as they will soon be known, to provide custom printed materials for stores that contain NFC tags. We covered Narian’s app last year, which you can find here, here and here.
“Retailers all thought that all they could do with NFC tags is Social/Multimedia or Coupons, but they all saw a much greater return and innovation out of our unique apps that save time and create efficiency for their work force,” Rosenberg told NFC Rumors.
Einar Rosenberg also said, “Visitors to both the UPM RFID & NXP booth at NFC didn’t realize that the growth went from a few hundred thousand NFC phones in the US to about 5 million from October to January. Roughly three months, and we went crazy big with NFC. Right now, NFC phones are either the #1 or #2 or both top selling phones on Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T for the months of November and December. So they all thought NFC wasn’t for another year or that it was just mobile payments, but the real numbers shocked and excited most every retailer we met.”
If you are looking around for a solution that can add better customer service and a mechanism for higher profits in your retail empire we think that Narian Technologies should certainly be on your list of solutions to check out. We expect to see the Narian system deployed in multiple high profile stores this year as more and more NFC smartphones hit the market and Isis MNOs start allowing NFC services to be used and for the technology to be switched on in consumers’ devices.
Samsung is building its own NFC chips and is developing new products, NFC Rumors has learned. It seems like we head off for a few days and the NFC environment goes crazy. We came back to an inbox full of news and, of course, rumors from some of our best sources. We all know that Samsung is slinging NFC into most phones they release from here on out. It is a great win for NFC and a greater win for the consumer that one of the most powerful phone manufacturers is enabling its devices on mass for the consumer. However, what you may not have known, and what we didn’t know until recently, is that Samsung isn’t stopping its NFC tirade there. They are said to be implementing NFC in products that are not phones. From what we have been told, it sounds like NFC payments. Let us tell you why.
AT&T didn’t enable NFC in the Samsung Galaxy S II, and if you are an owner you will be painfully aware of that fact. NFC Rumors has exclusively learned that AT&T is being pressured to enable NFC in the Samsung Galaxy S II because of the press and excitement among consumers about Android Beam. AT&T didn’t enable the NFC in the device for two reasons: one, they want to monetize NFC before they launch it, and secondly they didn’t want consumers using more data with NFC actions.
AT&T failed to anticipate that if an NFC phone has the service turned off and the consumer wants that feature, they will lose customers if they block the feature. AT&T haven’t announced that they will be carrying the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as yet but our sources are telling us that executives are feeling the pressure and have decided to send an update by the end of this year or early next year.
We caught up with some of the Sprint team at 4G World this week. They let us know some interesting information about how Sprint is viewing their company these days, which gave clues to what they have planned in the future. Sprint team members told NFC Rumors that Sprint no longer views itself as a telco. These days, the word around Sprint is that Sprint is a mobile ISP. This shows that Sprint is moving with the times. It shows that the Kansas company is aware that mobile data is all that matters these days and calls, email, NFC and all other services are an extension of the mobile ISP services that Spint supplies.
Social Passport took top honors at the Web 2.0 Expo this week for their NFC & QR Code program that gives consumers discounts and free marketing through social networking sites to businesses. Social Passport unveiled at the showcase their NFC, Reverse QR and Dynamic QR delivery methods for retailers to leverage their customers’ social networks in real time to promote their businesses. A feature for business owners is merchant suite, allowing retailers to incentivize social media through coupons and loyalty cards for free.
“We were up against some exceptional competition, but our free social network solution came out on top, further validating the value of Social Passport to businesses,” remarked Dave Merel, Founder and CEO of Social Passport.
Social Passport was selected as one of 30 companies to compete at the Web 2.0 Expo start-up showcase. Hundreds of venture capitalists, journalists and tech enthusiasts attended the showcase and had the opportunity to visit each company and vote for the favorite start-up. In the end, Social Passport emerged victorious. The NFC part of their service tends to elicit attention from today’s techies, and the ease of use of NFC makes it simple for consumers with NFC phones to take part. And for those who do not have NFC phones, there is always good ole fashioned QR Codes.
The main concept of Social Passport is that it focuses on the mantra of “market to one… market to many”, which utilizes consumers’ networks of contacts while saving more and more social network participants money on products and services they would use. In basic marketing terms what Social Passport has setup is a viral expansion loop where the more a participant brings their network together, the more they can save. Add to this the frictionless manner of NFC and you start to see why Social Passport took the top award. If you would like to setup a free Social Passport account for yourself personally or your company and want to add the value of NFC for your customers, hit this link.
Another day, another Nokia phone leak and today it’s the turn of the Nokia 710. It appears from what we can tell to be a Windows Phone 7 smartphone, but there was no mention of NFC from the specifications that were leaked. Nokia World is approaching fast and as we exclusively reported the other day Nokia is building the Nokia Wallet and is in the final stages of negotiating JP Morgan Chase as the bank that will partner Nokia in the venture.
The first Nokia Windows Phone 7 smartphones are expected to be announced at the end of this month but apart from Nokia committing to adding NFC goodness to all NFC phones from now on, we have heard nary a peep about any actual plans. This is surprising because Nokia doesn’t have a great track record of keeping secrets this year. Apart from the Sea Ray, or what we are now coming to know as the Nokia 800, we have little idea what Nokia has in store for Windows Phone 7. There is also a rumor of a Nokia 703 still mulling around. The Nokia 710 may start to fill in some of those holes with its med range specifications.
We may not know if this new Nokia phone is actually a Windows Phone 7 device or whether it is another Symbian phone. We don’t even know if it has NFC onboard and if it does whether Nokia is sneaking secure elements into these latest crop of phones. However, when Nokia added the Nokia 710 smartphone to its compare chart for developers it did provide quite a few specifications which have since been removed.
mynokiablog and a few others got screenshots of the Nokia 710 developers page though, so we can share what we know. Firstly, the Nokia 710 processor comes in the 1.4GHz Cortex A8 flavor and the display totally smells of Windows Phone 7 with its 3.7″ that apparently pumps out 800×480 - that screen is of the Nokia Clear Black TFT variety like so many of the latest Symbian phones. The Nokia 710 camera again shares similar specifications to the Nokia 603 we just saw launched and boasts a 28mm wide angle backed up with a 5-megapixel camera. The camera will shot video at 720p & 30FPS.
Internal storage weighs in at 8GB and RAM is what is now considered a low 512MB, by today’s standards. In today’s climate of 1800” mAh batteries, it is strange to find out that this Nokia 710 has a BL-5B 3.7V 820mAh, which Nokia rates as having 400 hours standby, 5 hours of 3G browsing and 7 hours GSM talk time. The only other spec listed was the by now obligatory MicroSIM.
No doubt all the Nokia 710 secrets will be revealed at the backend of this month and until then, keep your fingers crossed for NFC.
Motorola released a teaser website today showing company owned renders of the Motorola Droid RAZR, but there were no clues about NFC being on board. On Friday, Motorola announced a couple of NFC headsets and we speculated that because there are currently no Motorola NFC phones that the Motorola Droid RAZR could come endowed with some NFC love.
By the time we reach 2015, IEMR expects that there will be 893 million mobile payments users that will generate a staggering $945 Billion in transactions. Those mobile transactions will use NFC, SMS, WAP, and USSD according to the research firm. IEMR expects these transactions to be used to make purchases for merchandise, digital products, ticketing, mobile money transfers, bill payments, and prepaid top-ups.
We are seeing evidence of programs being brought to market for all of those transaction types. For the world to get to nearly $1 trillion in transactions, there will need to be mass adoption and industry stakeholders will have to stop battling for control.
Aditux, who is a provider of Near Field Communication (NFC) applications and solutions, has let us know that its NFC mobile phone solution for mobile payments and loyalty has been selected as a finalist for the Best of 4G Award in the Best Mobile Commerce Category. The awards presentation is set for Monday, October 24 at 5:00 pm CT in Chicago, US.
U.S. Cellular are launching the BlackBerry Curve 9350 NFC phone for as little as free after a $100 mail-in rebate for new activations on contract that also purchase a data plan until November 20th. For U.S. Cellular customers who already have an account, the Blackberry Curve 9350 can be had for $49.99 after a mail-in rebate. The BlackBerry Curve 9350 NFC phone is available and can be purchased online or in-store now.
Here’s a turn up for the books as Motorola announces its new Motorola ELITE SLIVER and Motorola ELITE FLIP NFC headsets that have iPhone like Siri voice recognition capabilities ahead of its Ice Cream Sandwich event. The question in our minds is why is Motorola launching NFC headsets when it doesn’t have NFC smartphones? I think we can all guess the answer to that one. Now we are getting excited.
“Seamless integration of elegant design and new ground-breaking technology make Motorola ELITE SLIVER and Motorola ELITE FLIP, the obvious choices for consumers from the tech savvy to the fashion conscious,” said Yossi Cohen, Senior Vice President of Companion Products at Motorola Mobility. “
The plot thickens with the Samsung Galaxy Nexus as a Verizon MAP (minimum advertised list) is leaked showing the upcoming Ice Cream Sandwich NFC phone scheduled for advertising from the 10th of November at a price of $299 with which we assume the two year ball and chain contract. However, this MAP’D device’s chart had dates beginning in July which suggests that it maybe out of date by the time it leaked.
Oberthur Technologies are hosting a “Next Gen Payment Solutions” webinar that will focus on providing information and insights on the latest payment technologies including NFC, EMV and Online Authentication for U.S. banking industry leaders.
“The need to protect existing revenue and drive incremental revenue has never been more important,” said Martin Ferenczi, Managing Director of the Americas Region for the Card Systems Division at Oberthur Technologies. “The webinar will help update banking professionals from various departments on opportunities to increase customer acquisition and loyalty, and counteract fraud through the use of the latest in payment technologies.”
The Smart Card Alliance and the NFC Forum have got together to put on the NFC Solutions Summit that will be happening in May of next year. It is currently the middle of the NFC conference season with plenty of great shows coming up in the next month or two. Looking ahead, the NFC ecosystem is likely to change in the next 8-9 months with more NFC phones, more NFC mobile wallets and more NFC marketing taking place everywhere. So who better to put on an NFC Solutions Summit than the Smart Card Alliance and the NFC Forum?
Last week Google and Samsung jointly announced that they were canceling their “unpacked event” that was set to unveil the NFC-capable Samsung Nexus Prime and Ice Cream Sandwich. Rumors swirled around that the reason was a patent dispute, but our sources close to the matter are telling us a different story, which to us makes a lot more sense. As you will have gathered from the title, the issue is in fact with Verizon. Can you guess what it is?