Yep! It’s here…the NFC enabled event app has arrived.
Android phones have offered NFC capability for a while, but it’s taken a while for the iPhone to follow suit. Earlier this year, Apple finally announced that NFC capability on the iPhone (currently used primarily for Apple Pay) was being opened up to third-party app developers in the iOS 11 update. The developers in the Noodle Labs have been working on integrating this exciting new functionality into our event apps, and we’re finally ready to launch.
With an NFC enabled mobile app for both iPhone and Android phones, attendees can check into an event or individual sessions, swap contact details or collect content, all using their own smartphone. They simply need to tap their phone at a smart poster containing a small NFC sticker. This will replace the current practice of placing screens around your event environment and scanning a name badge using a QR code or RFID chip to achieve the same means. The best news is, this will dramatically reduce the cost of event tech systems for event planners. Serious winning!
We’re so excited to be the first to bring this tech to market. Instead of using physical hardware to scan badges, you will be able to design and encode posters via an online portal. The posters can be displayed around your event. Attendees can then scan the posters using their own devices. Ultimately, this could change the way key event touch points work and dramatically reduce the cost of implementing contactless technology for #EventProfs.
Wait, what is NFC?
Yep, fair question. Let’s step back a little. NFC, or near field communication, is simple tap and interact technology. It’s the tech that powers Apple Pay. When you tap your phone to pay for the tube, NFC connects your phone to your bank account to perform the action. In the past, although iPhones contained NFC capability, Apple hadn’t allowed app developers to access the functionality for use in their third-party apps. Now that they’ve changed that, your phone could be used to perform a variety of commands and actions via various apps, including event apps.
What does it mean for events?
Your event app is about to become a lot more useful.
At the moment, attendees arrive at an event and are issued with a badge containing either a QR code or an embedded RFID tag. They can then scan or tap their name badge to perform an action. This requires physical hardware to be installed on site.
NFC technology enables a move towards bring your own device (BYOD). Ultimately, it could eliminate the need to supply screens for attendees to interact with. So instead of scanning or tapping your badge on a physical device, attendees will be able to interact with a simple poster or sign. This could make interactive event tech a lot more affordable for #EventProfs.
“The inclusion of NFC technology within event apps is the next step in further blurring the lines between the physical event space and digital interactions. This is iOT in action in a way that is particularly suited to live events,” says Clemi Hardie, our very own Head of Pencils and MD.
When is it available?
Our NFC enabled event app will be available in the next few weeks, but the switch to the new functionality will need to be rolled out gradually by those looking to implement this solution.
We recognise that not all event attendees will have NFC enabled phones immediately, so for the time being we will be offering a dual solution. Users can either use an RFID name badge issued to them on arrival or their NFC enabled device to interact with our event swipe points.
This hybrid solution will ensure each and every attendee can still interact with our swipe points. At Noodle Live, we’ve worked at more than 300 live events in 25 countries. We have more than 5 years experience working with contactless technologies in live event environments. We’re always happy to chat and to help our clients work out best practices for implementing NFC systems at their event. We also offer live demos and consultation services.
Want a demo of the new tech? You can catch us at Event Tech Live on November 9th, or you can get in touch and book a demo. We love talking about all things tech!