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Kinetic and JCDecaux pioneer first large-scale Out of Home deployment of NFC

March 05, 2012
In a UK first, Kinetic and JCDecaux are launching the UK’s first large-scale deployment of NFC technology as all Reading’s 6-sheet poster sites go interactive in a 4-week trial. From 5 March, 13 brands will provide exclusive content and voucher NFC experiences on 6-sheets across the town, allowing people to download information, offers and games with a swipe of their smartphone.

Under the ‘Test the Near Future’ project, over 300 bus shelter poster sites across Reading and poster sites in the Oracle Shopping Mall will become Near Field Communication (NFC) and Quick Response Code (QR) enabled.

Advertisers taking part in the trial include: Morrison’s, H&M, Universal DVD, Universal Special Projects, Mercedes, ITV2, Lucozade Sport, EA Games and Unilever’s Lynx, Toni & Guy, Magnum and Vaseline. Content will be updated regularly across the month, with different advertisers providing different content each week.

Nick Mawditt, Director of Insight and Marketing at Kinetic said, “This is the first large-scale deployment of NFC technology on the street and is bringing the future of Out of Home to the here-and-now in Reading. During the trial shoppers and commuters can choose to download content from 13 major advertisers including special offers, vouchers, games and music simply by swiping their smartphones on poster sites. NFC is widely regarded as a technology that could transform the way consumers use their mobile phones to interact with their environment.  Reading was chosen for the trial because it is one of the UK’s most tech-savvy towns, with a high proportion of smartphones in use. We will be looking closely to see how consumers engage and interact with the content during the trial.”

The NFC system works on the same principle as the London Underground Oyster Card System. The contactless technology uses radiowaves to connect NFC-enabled smartphones, to ‘smart posters.’ The QR Codes will bring the same benefits to people with non-NFC smartphones, once they download a QR Code app to their phone. There will be 325 ‘Touchpoints’ in total.

The ‘Test the Near Future’ project is a joint initiative between Kinetic, the world’s leading planner of Out of Home media and the leading Outdoor media owner JCDecaux. Technology support will be provided by interactive technology specialist Zappit.

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