News in brief from the NFC world and beyond: New online NFC store • eBay buys hyperlocal ads firm • Connecthings launches reader/writer app • Google's Groupon rival hits Portland • Chase offers chip and pin in US • Visa and Gap working on real-time mobile discounts • Nokia to transfer Symbian jobs • and a brace of research reports...
Near Field Solutions opens online NFC store: UK-based NFC developer Near Field Solutions has launched an online store selling NFC tags and development equipment. The store will enable customers to buy small quantities of NFC tags in various form factors, as well as readers and software tools.
eBay buys hyperlocal advertising firm: eBay is to buy Boston-based hyperlocal advertising firm Where for US$135million. Founded in 2004, Where gives people relevant, real-time information and deals from businesses, and a mobile app that allows people to find personalised deals and local recommendations. eBay aims to integrate PayPal into the Where mobile app as a first step. The deal is expected to close later this quarter.
Connecthings launches tag reader/writer application: NFC tag specialist Connecthings has introduced a new tag reader and writer application, available free of charge on Android Market. The NFC Tag Writer & Reader app allows the user to easily create their own NFC tags and smart posters by storing URLs, SMS messages or phone numbers.
Google launches Groupon rival in Portland: Google's localised coupon service Offers has begun signing up customers in Portland, Oregon — which is also a test site for Google Places' NFC offering. Initially, customers will be asked to sign up to the beta service to access half-price offers. The service, which will compete with Groupon, is also available in New York, San Francisco and Oakland.
Chase offers chip and pin cards for US customers: Chase Card Services will introduce new credit cards with chip and pin technology for US customers who travel abroad frequently. Chase will first unveil the technology on the JP Morgan Palladium credit card in June and then with other Chase credit cards within the year.
Visa and Gap launch real-time mobile discounts: Visa is working with clothes retailer Gap to provide customers real-time discounts in-store via SMS messages. The scheme follows a trial in November 2010 and Visa says it is part of a "larger strategy to personalise the consumer shopping experience".
Nokia to transfer thousands of Symbian jobs: Nokia has announced plans to shed some 4,000 jobs by the end of 2012. It will transfer all its Symbian software activites, including some 3,000 employees, to Accenture. Nokia says it intends to ramp up its capacity for the development of smartphones based on the Windows Phone platform — the deal with Microsoft was announced in February.
Smart Insights launches TSM report: Smart Insights has unveiled a new report on the market for trusted service management offerings. 'Trusted Service Manager (TSM) for NFC Market 2011' provides information on all major TSM platform vendors and TSM operators, and about their products, services, and market position. The report, which also includes market forecasts, costs €2,990 for a single-user licence and is available here.
Mercator reports on NFC authentication: Mercator Advisory Group has published a new report 'Authentication At the Edge: NFC, Smartphones, and a New Model for Payments Confidence' which examines the potential of the smartphone in security applications as they evolve to include hardware-based security via NFC and biometrics.
Connectivity technologies examined by Berg: Berg Insight has published a new report 'Handset Connectivity Technologies' that investigates the latest trends in GNSS, Bluetooth, WLAN and NFC adoption by mobile phone manufacturers.