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In the Europewide SmartTouch project, NFC technology is successfully piloted by the City of Oulu, Finland

29.11.2006
In the future, will it be possible for people living in Oulu to order meals, open doors to sports facilities or pay for various kinds of services simply by the touch of a mobile phone? The City of Oulu has been testing new touch technology based on NFC (Near Field Communication) in various projects, and the results look promising.

The City's elderly care department, its catering service Oulun Ateria and logistics firm Oulun Logistiikka have been engaged in a pilot project involving ordering meals for the elderly based on touch technology. The project has been implemented by ToP Tunniste and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. The elderly have Nokia NFCenabled mobile phones: by touching the NFC tags on the daily menu with the phone, a meal can be ordered for home delivery.

The only parts of the service that are visible for the end customer are the touching and the delivery of the meal. Touching the menu sets an extensive service process in motion: Oulun Ateria receives the order electronically in its database and prepares the meal according to the order. The meals are delivered to customers by Oulun Logistiikka. The drivers distributing the meals would report at the start of the delivery rounds, successful delivery and completion of rounds using the same technology. Both Oulun Logistiikka and Oulun Ateria obtain realtime information on the progress of the service process. The application is all inclusive: it is not possible for a customer to be left without a meal, because the pilot monitors the successful completion of the order of each elderly person taking part in the project.

The City's sport and education departments are engaged in a pilot project involving the use of mobile phones as keys to public facilities. People in Oulu using the gym in Pohjankartano School in the evenings have NFCenabled phones programmed to provide access to the facility on given days and times. The user uses the phone to touch the reader next to the door to open the door. The pilot project is being implemented in an attempt to seek solutions to future access control needs in terms of facilities offered for public use. The solution has been realised by Buscom in cooperation with VTT.

The City of Oulu acts as a provider of a genuine pilot environment within the SmartTouch project focusing on research and application of NFC-based mobile solutions. The City's aim is to come up with new, easy-to-use services benefiting local residents in cooperation with other actors in the consortium by making use of international expertise. The City of Oulu offers a live, client orientated pilot environment; at the same time, it provides an opportunity to produce services based on tomorrow's high technology. The consortium's aim is also to pilot extensive services intended for an urban environment jointly with businesses in downtown Oulu in the summer of 2007.

Sirpa Posti | alfa
Further information:
http://www.vtt.fi

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