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Finnish city to test NFC posters for children’s games and smart maps

The city of Lappeenranta is installing a series of smart posters, incorporating tamper-proof NFC tags, with one set providing quick and easy access to local information and the other enabling children visiting its famous Sandcastle to win prizes for taking part in a quiz.

BEACH GAMES: Visitors to Lappeenranta's Sandcastle will be loaned NFC phones to follow a poster-driven quiz trail

BEACH GAMES: Visitors to Lappeenranta's Sandcastle will be loaned NFC phones to follow a poster-driven quiz trail

The city of Lappeenranta in southern Finland is to launch two NFC smart poster applications in June this year, one providing local information services and the other giving children the chance to use NFC via a quiz trail based on its annual Sandcastle event.

The applications have been developed by Red Solution, an NFC specialist based in the city. Each poster incorporates technology developed by Red Solution that involves embedding the tags within a specially designed, tamper-proof plastic shell.

CLOSE-UP: Red Solution's 'tamper-proof' tag shell for smart posters, glued to the poster (left) and embedded in the poster (right). Click to enlarge

CLOSE-UP: Red Solution's 'tamper-proof' tag shell for smart posters, glued to the poster (left) and embedded in the poster (right). Click to enlarge

Customers wishing to use the tamper-proof shells simply email artwork for their posters to Red Solution, or mail a ready-printed poster, and the company then sends back a finished smart poster with the customer’s choice of tag, embedded in the special shell, attached to the back of the poster. A completed A3 smart poster costs €35 plus the cost of the tag, which runs from around €0.50 for a standard tag to around €4 for a metallic tag.

For the Smart Map application, several tags are attached to each poster, with each tag relating to a particular type of local information such as restaurants, clubs, shopping centres and hotels. To get information on local restaurants, for instance, users simply touch their NFC phone to the restaurant section of the poster and the Red Solution back-end system automatically delivers them information on local restaurants. The user can then view all the options and, after making their choice, can call the restaurant or view a map of its location.

Taxis and emergency services can also be called automatically, just by touching the user’s phone to the appropriate area of the poster.

Initially, the smart maps are being installed on a three month trial basis but there are plans to both extend the trial and to add further applications, Red Solution’s CEO Jayden Khakurel has told NFCW.

For the Sandcastle Games application, a series of eight posters is being installed in the vicinity of the Lappeenranta Sandcastle, a massive walk-through sand sculpture built from 3m kilograms of sand that attracts visitors from across Finland, Russia and beyond. Visitors will be able to borrow an NFC phone at the attraction. When they touch the first poster with the phone the quiz application is downloaded and they can choose their preferred language (Finnish, Russian or English). They’ll then be asked a multiple choice question about the Sandcastle. Once they have visited all eight posters and answered all the questions, the phone is returned and they are given their score, prizes and discount vouchers.

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