Think&Go’s rental model makes it easy for retailers to test NFC

The near field communication specialist is offering a turnkey package that includes NFC application software and the opportunity to rent NFC add-ons so that all of a company’s customers in a particular location can be cost-effectively equipped to take part in a trial.

Think&Go NFC Leclerc trial
TEST FOR LESS: A range of NFC add-ons which work with almost any handset are available on a rental basis

French start-up Think&Go NFC has developed an innovative solution to allow potential NFC service providers to conduct a field trial with all their customers at a particular location.

The company, founded by experienced NFC specialists, is offering a complete turnkey NFC pilot package that offers the ability to reduce the cost of equipping customers of the test location by making available add-ons — such as Twinlinx‘s MyMax Bluetooth sticker — that NFC-enable consumers’ existing phones on a rental basis. The offering also includes application software designed to run on a wide range of mobile phones and back office software to support the trial.

The company is based in France but says it is able to support field trials by retailers and other service providers worldwide. Its technology is currently being field tested at a branch of the Leclerc supermarket chain at St Isidore on the outskirts of Nice and in several other locations.

The solution is designed to appeal to retailers looking to test NFC and also to those seeking to commercially deploy the technology and includes the ability to try out a wide range of in-store marketing and advertising services. And other types of service provider can also take advantage of Think&Go NFC’s offering too.

“We aren’t just looking at retailers,” Vincent Berge, Think&Go NFC’s CEO, told NFC World. “Holiday villages could use this solution to issue add-ons to guests and then re-issue them to new guests when they depart. Operators could also use it to provide hardware to consumers and then have a number of service providers sharing space on the sticker.”

“Some people want to be independent of the operator,” he continued. “Others want to be able to gain an understanding of how their customers would use NFC so they will then be able to negotiate more effectively with operators. But the cost of issuing NFC phones to all of a store’s customers would be too high. It’s better to find a way to field test NFC with customers’ existing phones and our solution gives them the opportunity to do that.”

“Alternative devices are getting a lot more mature but cross-device portability is a big issue,” Berge added. “We aim to remove the technical complexities involved in developing NFC solutions and enable service providers to offer NFC-based services to their customers with minimum disruption to their IT systems. Our solution works out-of-the-box.”

Think&Go’s technology is based on the concept of an NFC Wrapper that enables an application to be deployed on a wide range of different platforms including phones with built-in NFC functionality as well as those equipped with an add-on or peripheral device.

The company aims to work with the widest possible range of NFC add-on suppliers. It has signed a strategic partnership with Twinlinx and also offers solutions using Wireless Dynamics’ iCarte NFC add-on for Apple’s iPhone.

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