10 NFC Companies You Need to Know About - dummies

10 NFC Companies You Need to Know About

By Robert R. Sabella

Some businesses provide enough influence to affect the direction that Near Field Communication (NFC) takes as the technology matures. By knowing the names of these businesses, you gain an advantage over a competitor who isn’t quite so aware. This list provides you with the names of ten companies that you really need to know about when it comes to NFC.

Blue Bite

It probably hasn’t escaped your notice that the world is becoming increasingly mobile. People use their mobile devices for everything. That’s why you need to support mobile technology in every way possible. Any business that wants to remain relevant in today’s world will have a mobile strategy. Blue Bite can help you create a viable mobile strategy with a lot less effort than you might otherwise need to expend. This site specializes in these areas:

  • mTAG
  • Analytics
  • Design
  • Deployment

Make sure that you don’t get stuck looking at just the top of Blue Bite’s page. The middle of the page contains some interesting case studies, and you can see the impressive list of brands that Blue Bite has worked with below that. At the bottom of the page are pictures of the people you’ll work with — none of whom look like they’ll bite. Hover your mouse over each picture, though, to have a bit of fun.

NXP

Despite every effort to shrink hardware into nonexistence, the world still relies on it to make technology work — and NFC is no different. Fortunately, you have access to NXP, a company that delves head-first into hardware of all sorts. In fact, here is a list of the sorts of products you can obtain from NXP (including those required to meet your NFC needs):

  • Amplifiers
  • Audio/radio
  • Bipolar transistors
  • Data converters
  • Diodes
  • ESD protection, TVS, filtering, and signal conditioning
  • Identification and security
  • Interface and connectivity
  • Logic
  • MOSFETs
  • Media processors
  • Microcontrollers
  • Power management
  • RF
  • Sensors
  • TV and STB front ends
  • Thyristors

One of the more important links on the site for anyone using NFC is NFC Everywhere. Make sure to check out this link for ideas on how NXP can meet your specific NFC hardware needs. NXP offers NFC help in these areas:

  • Controller solutions
  • Frontend solutions
  • Connected tags
  • Demo boards

Flomio

Flomio is oriented toward the needs of developers and proximity ID technologies. You can find NFC, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), and Ultra-high Frequency (UHF) Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) solutions all in one place. These technologies often work together to create a complete solution, so it’s nice to find them all in one place. The site design helps reduce the complexity normally associated with developing a solution by dividing solutions into four areas:

  • Tags
  • Readers
  • Middleware
  • Web services

One of the more interesting aspects of this site is the tags. Yes, you can find the usual assortment of chips, wristbands, and tags, but you also have access to dimensional solutions, such as Dorus the dragon. The dimensional tags add the fun into creating an NFC solution. Interestingly enough, you can send Flomio your design for any 3D object (.STL format only) and Flomio will print some NFC solutions for you. The company even provides you with a few pointers to ensure that you get a great result.

Smartrac

Smartrac has the distinction of creating the fanciest and smartest phone case ever built. Many of the solutions you read about promote connectivity using more than one technology. In this case, the smartphone case incorporates a combination of NFC and RFID technologies.

Even though the Smartrac site may initially seem to revolve around RFID, you can find plenty of NFC offerings as well. Check out the NFC inlays and tags. Most of these solutions are for serious business uses. For example, Smartrac stocks NFC tags on a roll that you can use to create multiple duplicate tags when necessary. Smartrac addresses a number of market segments, including

  • Animal identification
  • Automatic vehicle ID systems
  • Car access
  • Electronics and gaming
  • Enterprise access control
  • Government eID
  • Health care
  • Industrial applications
  • Leisure and entertainment
  • Media and document management
  • Payment
  • Public transportation
  • Retail
  • Supply chain and asset management

HID Global

If it has anything to do with identity, HID Global has a solution. NFC appears in the forefront on this site, so you can wade right in looking for the solution you need. The vendor provides support for all sorts of ID solutions, including

  • Asset tracking
  • Access control
  • Border protection
  • Caregiver visits
  • Identity management
  • Embedded solutions
  • Resource access
  • Secure transactions
  • Visitor registration

HID Global has the solution you need for any sort of identity requirement. It also works with a broad range of industries, including

  • Banking and financial
  • Education
  • Enterprise and corporate
  • Government
  • Health care

One of the best parts about working with HID Global is the large number of partners it works with. You can find a partner company for any additional needs. The fact that you can go to this single site for a complete solution (even if doing so requires working with a partner company) means that you can save considerable time and effort creating a solution.

Poken

Making any event a success means creating connections that last and generating buzz that keeps people talking about your event for a long time afterward. NFC can help make that happen by reducing the effort required to obtain information from other people. A simple tap of two NFC enabled event “Pokens” makes it possible to exchange information, and tapping a smart poster provides long-term access to helpful information.

Poken provides the resources to make events fun, successful, and much easier than in the past. Not only do the attendees benefit, but your organization benefits as well through additional tracking capability and reduced paperwork. When working with Poken, you obtain a complete event experience that includes

  • Networking
  • Digital collecting
  • Event management
  • Online visitor portal
  • Digital check in
  • Attendee tracking
  • Match making
  • Meetings manager
  • Registration
  • Gamification
  • Mobile apps
  • Sponsorship

Cellotape

If you need to print it, Cellotape has a solution to do it. You can find any printing solution you can imagine and more than a few solutions you never thought about on this site. They are the leaders in custom NFC-embedded printing solutions. They can embed NFC into practically anything that you want or can imagine. All you really need to be able to do is describe what you need printed in order to begin creating your NFC solution. After you have some idea of precisely what Cellotape can do for you, you can obtain a quote for the work.

Advanced Card Systems (ACS) Holdings Limited

Has ACS got a smart card solution for you! In fact, if you can’t find it here, you’re not likely to find it anywhere else. You can find cards in all sorts of form factors, including

  • Contact interface
  • Combi interface
  • Contactless interface
  • USB token

After you have a smart card solution in mind, make sure to get a reader in the form factor you need. ACS also has a broad range of readers that can meet just about any need. The reader form factors include

  • PC-linked smart card readers
  • PC-linked readers with mass storage
  • Contactless readers
  • Mobile card readers
  • Smart card readers with PIN pad
  • Dynamic password generators
  • Smart card reader modules

In addition to selling you the hardware, ACS provides services, solutions, and support. For example, ACS performs card printing. They also offer product customization and new product development to meet specific solution requirements.

Thinfilm

Browsing Thinfilm takes a while because you’re too busy gawking at all the interesting uses of NFC technology it contains. Some of the technologies, such as smart medical injection devices, are potentially expected and perhaps even a little mundane. However, other technologies, such as the smart bottles, are both interesting and unique. Many of the solutions you find on this site revolve around anticounterfeiting, but they also include providing information to the product users.

Smartwhere

Proximity solutions let you extend your reach directly to the consumer from a product shelf. Consider the advantages of being able to send a customer an ad or a coupon that directly relates to the product the customer is viewing at any given time. The use of this technology will increase sales because you’re giving the customer a strong incentive to make the purchase. After all, few people can resist a combination of a good argument to buy a product and then a certain amount off to make the purchase as well. The suggested venues for this kind of technology include

  • Retail campaigns
  • In-store experiences
  • Museums
  • On-site mapping and Blue Dot
  • Events and venues
  • Integrated print campaigns
  • Social media campaigns