13 November 2009 ·
Source: Invest in Finland · Download PDF
Finnish interactive touch technology wins ITEA gold Achievement Award
The Finnish SmartTouch project has been given the 2009 gold ITEA Achievement Award of the Information Technology for European Advancement.
The winning SmartTouch project is based on near field communication (NFC) and has been coordinated by the Technical research Centre of Finland (VTT). The SmartTouch project was rewarded for its outstanding contribution to the programme of ITEA 2 – the EUREKA Cluster for Software-intensive Systems and Services (SiSS).
SmartTouch develops new and innovative mobile services, which are easy and intuitive to use as touch. NFC offers short-range wireless connectivity that enables smart consumer devices to interact quickly and easily when they touch or are brought close together. This creates opportunities for new user-friendly applications, transactions and communications. The ITEA 2 Board particularly appreciated the simple touch and interactive user orientation of the platform and concepts developed, based on the NFC short-range wireless connectivity.
“Promotion of NFC technology in many different applications enabled the consortium to succeed in rapid commercial exploitation of its research results,” said Philippe Letellier, Vice-Chairman of ITEA 2 during the awards ceremony of the joint ARTEMIS & ITEA Co-summit in Madrid on 30 October.
SmartTouch designed and tested an NFC platform and concepts for corresponding business chains for payment and ticketing, access control, infotainment and entertainment services. It was the largest effort on piloting NFC technology in the EU and has achieved worldwide impact.
“NFC offers very good business cases but we wanted it to become a globalised standard with everything in place for full exploitation,” explains SmartTouch project co-ordinator Tuomo Tuikka from VTT. “NFC is now ready and our project tested business models. Consortium member Gemalto has successfully sold a full-scale NFC solution to Taiwan Mobile covering payment and loyalty cards, as well as smart devices. The Frankfurt public transport company RAV is continuing to exploit NFC technology for ticketing and looking at expanding functionality. Spring 2010 should see some significant announcements on NFC.”
According to VTT, the companies participating in the project have already developed 22 commercial products and registered 15 patents by the end of last year. Nokia has stated that NFC will have a strong role in the next versions of the Symbian platform. Research company Juniper Research recently predicted that one in six mobile phone users will have an NFC-phone by the year 2014.