Near Field Norwich

What’s Near Field Norwich?

Near Field Norwich is a chance to learn about Near Field Communications (NFC) by getting your hands on the technology and using it to develop your own creative ideas.

This is a UK-first, so it will be a showcase for the imagination and ideas of creative and digital folk in our fine city.

What’s NFC?

It’s a technology that allows you to tap a mobile phone to a pre-programmed tag to trigger an event in the phone. The most common application is to make the phone access some web content. So NFC tags can act like little internet links that can be stuck almost anywhere: in a poster, on a sign, on a building, on artwork, or even your cat.

It’s a bit like a QR code, but with a seamless user experience. No need to fiddle around with a reader app, just tap and connect.

NFC will be big news in 2012 as more and more phone manufacturers are launching NFC enabled phones (here’s a list of the phones already on the market).

The kit

Near Field Norwich will allow us free use of a software platform developed by Proxama, an NFC technology firm based here in Norwich. Their Touchpoint platform allows you to programme NFC tags (which are also provided free of charge) and then manage and monitor your campaign.

It’s pretty simple to use. You only need very basic HTML skills in your team to make it all work.

Each team needs to provide its own NFC phone handset. These are pretty standard smartphones, the sort of thing you could easily get on your current phone contract – or buy off the shelf at Carphone Warehouse. (Students, if you need to plead poverty we’ve got a few handsets you could borrow).

What’s involved?

Near Field Norwich is a month-long event which starts with a briefing meeting on Thursday 23rd Feb and ends with a show-and-tell event on Thursday 22nd March. There are more details below, but basically you’ve got a month to dream up some applications for NFC and work one up into a demo you can share with the world.

Why enter?

  • Fame! Use what you come up with during the event for your own publicity and PR – or to make your portfolio look smart as a whip.
  • Fortune! If you figure out a way to make money out of your idea, go for it. Your ideas remain your intellectual property.
  • Fun! What better way to learn and play with this new stuff than with your fellow Hot Sourcerers?

Even though the event lasts a month we think you’ll only need to put in 10-15 hours work (spread out amongst your team) to make something wonderful happen. So no need to give up your day job.

Convinced? Then enter your team into the event

If you want to know more about NFC in general, take a look at Proxama’s website. There’s a video link on the homepage which shows you some examples of NFC in action.

The details

The event takes place over a month with these dates for your diary:

  • Team briefing: Thursday 23rd Feb, 4-6pm @ OPEN. All the teams come together to say ‘Hi’ and get an initial briefing on Proxama’s Touchpoint platform. This will give you everything you need to know to start coming up with ideas. There’s over a week to sketch or storyboard your favourite idea ready for…
  • Tech briefing: Monday 5th March, 5-7pm @ OPEN. Proxama will give you access to their platform and a handful of NFC tags; everything you need to start bringing a demonstration of your idea to life. There’s just over a week to tinker before…
  • Build clinic: Thursday 15th March, early evening. Venue TBC (central Norwich). An optional check-in if you need any help from Proxama getting it all to work, ready for…
  • Finale: Thursday 22nd March, 5.30-7.30pm @ OPEN. You’ve got 5 mins to share your idea and a working prototype with the rest of us. There won’t be official ‘winners’ (we’re all winners right?), but an expert panel will pick out some of their favourites and explain what caught their eye.
  • Hot Source March event: Thursday 29th March, 5.00-7.30. Venue: NUCA Duke St lecture theatre. Our regular Talkie night will share some of our clever NFC goodness with the rest of the Hot Source gang.

Got a team? Ready to go?

Each team needs to have at least three members. Between you you’ll need the following:

  • Ideas: the ability to come up with some imaginative uses of the NFC tech
  • Design skillz: enough to bring your demo to life through a basic user experience
  • HTML know-how: only very basic dev skills are needed. If you can build a web page, you’re good.
  • An NFC phone: beg, borrow or…buy an NFC enabled handset from this list. You’ll need to have this by the tech briefing on 6th March. (If you’re impoverished student types we’ll see if we can find you and handset to borrow.)
  • Gumption: we reckon each team will need to put in 10-15 hours work on this between them to get a demo together. Don’t enter if you’re the flakey type: glory and honour awaits you…

Got all that? Ready to enter a team? Then fill out this registration form.

Looking for other people to form a team with?

Don’t worry. We’ve opened up a discussion thread on LinkedIn to help you find other people to form a team with. We’ll keep an eye on this and help put people together.

When you’re ready, come back here and register your team by Feb 22nd.

Register your team in Near Field Norwich »

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