British gadget retailer Firebox is aiming to turn NFC into the must-have gift for geeks and gadget lovers this Christmas with a £39.99 Tikitag starter kit that includes a tag reader and ten NFC-compatible RFID stickers…
Top UK gadget retailer Firebox has added a Tikitag starter kit to its product line, marking the first time an NFC solution of this type has become available for sale on a mainstream consumer website.
Tikitags were developed by Alcatel-Lucent Ventures, a business incubator within Bell Labs, and caused a sensation when they were first demonstrated at DemoFall in September. The NFC-compatible RFID stickers are designed to act as a low cost, low impact entry point to the ‘internet of things’.
Consumers simply tag items around them and then associate each tag’s ID number with a function, operation or application. When the tags are read, using either the reader supplied with the starter kit or an NFC compatible phone, the application associated with the tag can be looked up in a database held in the cloud and automatically launched. Applications range from the very simple to the very complex and can draw on both the location of the reader and the ID number of the tag.
What kind of thing can Tikitags be used for? Well, for almost anything where it would be useful to create a link between an object and the internet, web or mobile. “Imagine if your business card could swipe open your company website or your teddy bear could open a playlist of nursery rhymes,” says Firebox. “Or how about if that tacky souvenir donkey from Majorca magically opened up your holiday snaps.”
The Tikitag website is full of ideas and already has a wide range of applications available for download, designed using the Tikitag API. Commercial applications, as well as consumer markets, are a major target market as well and Alcatel-Lucent’s introductory video probably tells the story best.
Tikitags have been on sale direct from Tikitag.com since October 1st and featured last week in a Wired article Geeky Toys That Will Make You a Christmas Hero. Now, with Firebox (and also now with ThinkGeek in the US) they are being promoted by an established retailer able to fulfill orders internationally and could be the surprise hit of the Christmas season amongst the tech in-crowd. They’re certainly top of our Christmas wish list here at NFCW!