Friday, 16 July 2010

Is Nice the Smartest City in the World? - Part Two

This is the concluding part of our research into the innovative Near Field Communications programme implemented in the French city of Nice. To read the first part published 6th July 2010 please click here


Technically this is not part of the Cityzi scheme but it is possible for a CAP member to use the same NFC enabled mobile phone for both schemes.
In the very first trial of NFC technology in air travel anywhere in the world, frequent flyers with Air France using the Nice-Paris Orly domestic route and Members of Nice Airport's passenger programme Club Airport Premier (CAP) took part in a pilot to validate the use the technology for paperless ticket and boarding pass.
The “Pass and Fly” pilot, as it was known, provided more accurate and faster MI whilst improving and speeding up the customer experience. It also required less manual effort and thus has the potential to deliver savings and efficiency gains for the airline and the airport operator.
This innovative pilot project that began in April 2009 and concluded in October 2009, is a collaboration between Nice Côte d'Azur Airport and Air France, who have partnered with IER, the supplier of the NFC enabled sticker for a similar pilot by Air New Zealand, and Amadeus. Both Nice Côte d'Azur Airport and Air France have since adopted the technology and offer it as a core service.
IER built NFC kiosks readers are integrated with the airport's infrastructure and interfaced with Air France's passenger management system.
Amadeus supply the software for the mobile phones, departure control system and airport readers, which captures and displays information relevant to the customers progress through the departure process.
Air France have issued Nokia 6212 handsets to some CAP members and NFC stickers to others. The stickers provide a non NFC mobile phone with NFC capability and thus allow the customer to join the programme and enjoy the benefits of the new service.
Once registered for the service, CAP members with their “Pass and Fly” enabled mobile phone check in through either the internet, mobile phone, self-service channel at the airport. Once checked in the customer swipes their NFC enabled mobile phone across a reader to download the electronic IATA compatible boarding pass.
Then the customer is fast tracked through security checks control by waving the mobile phone across the NFC reader which links to the Airlines passenger information and displays the boarding pass to the security staff without the need for the customer to display their mobile phone screen.. In fact the mobile phone does not even need to be switched on. The same process is followed for boarding where a voucher is printed with seat details.
As an additional functionality the CAP members also accrue loyalty points via the use of the NFC mobile phone during this process which the Airline is using to incentivise customers to drive take-up.
If the Airline operated a “free sea\ting” policy or equipped the cabin crew with powered hand held readers, this would result in a completely paperless journey.
Feedback from customers has been very positive with the key benefits being speed of transit through the airport, easy to use, convenient not to have to handle paper, and elimination of delays due to lost / misplaced tickets / boarding cards.
For the Airline, they have more satisfied customers, and reduce costs. Whilst the airport can keep queues to a minimum which also reduces security and health and safety risks. .
Compared the mobile boarding pass solution that uses 2-D barcodes as used in New Zealand and elsewhere, NFC is more efficient in terms of speed of transaction and as the phone does not require power it less prone to errors and delays. However, in this deployment, it does not provide a completely paperless process yet.
Smart Muse, Access to Information
The Smart Muse proof of concept project provides a number of NFC enabled services to patrons of the museum the best example is in the Centre Pompidou, an art museum in Paris, and “Walking Tours” of the Old City of Nice. However Nice have already made it clear that they fully intend to rollout the solution to their own museums as soon as they have positive feedback from their own project along with that from the one at the Centre Pompidou.
Visitors to the museum are provided, free of charge, with an NFC Wave-Me™- enabled handset using software from Inside Contactless, which is hosted by ConnecThings, a who specialise in the provision of contextualized location and time based content management systems (CMS),
The handset, supplied by Sagem, is then used to gain access to information about a particular exhibit simply by holding it close to an NFC tag in a poster or label situated adjacent to the exhibit itself. The smart tag has a Unique Identifier (UID) this is read by the handset and then communicated to the CMS over a wireless connection. The information about that exhibit is then sent back to visitor via the handset’s screen in a language of their choice.
The Hand set is a two way communication device and so can also be used to send visitor feedback to the Curators and museum manager about a exhibits or the visitors general experience.
To get benefit beyond the actual visit to the museum the visitor can register interest in a particular artist or exhibit and receive further information, videos etc via e-mail or even their Facebook page.
The scheme at the Centre Pompidou has received c450€ funding from France's Ministry of Economy, Industry and Employment which equates to around 30 percent of the total development and deployment cost of more than 1.5M€. The remainder will be funded by the consortium partners who are essentially donating their expertise, software and hardware. It is not clear if the implementation in Nice will receive similar funding.
Cultural Events – Information Dissemination
Local residents and visitors to the Old City of Nice are able to obtain information about local events, cultural and activities by presenting their NFC enabled mobile phone to the Cityzi branded signposts with NFC chips. The vast majority of these signposts are part of the walking tour scheme and so this is an effective use of existing infrastructure.
As part of the payment application a number of retailers including Carrefour, E.Leclerc Intermarché, and several town-center merchants have signed up for the scheme to accept payment by NFC device
Jewelry retailer Cléor are piloting an innovative inventory tracking window, using RFID. Each item has an RFID tag and there are proximity readers on the window access area, when an item passes through this area it is added or removed from the store’s inventory as appropriate. This speeds up stock management and can also trigger the ordering of new stock. By logging the date and time an item is added or removed from the window display it is also seen as a deterrent to staff theft.
There are also other applications being planned like the Real time inventory management, display, anti theft system, location, and customer loyalty for textile and clothing shops, and the RFID logistic chains for meat to allow real time traceability, already being used across Europe by the larger supermarkets.
The Nice Future Campus project allows c300 students at the Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis campus to use NFC-enabled phones for a variety of services both on and off campus.
This is a fairly comprehensive scheme with a budget of c2M€ involving 7 key supplier partners delivering several applications including payment, transport, access control, student life (ticketing) and targeted promotional offers
Over a 2 year period the scheme has introduced 3 different Mobile handsets and 4 NFC stickers to enable non NFC mobile phones 3 NFC devices
Employee ID & Access
Businesses in Nice are able to use the infrastructure that the City is putting in place, and such application way is for staff ID and access. The Gemalto provided MoBEMo contactless badge allows employees to use their own NFC enabled phone for Access Control and to make cafeteria payments. Cassis International is developing a system allowing NFC phone holders to access tickets and coupons via a Web-based server.
Home Help Time & attendance & Payment
This is a mobile home-help payment system which replaces paper cheques., RFID tags in name badges communicate with the mobile devices to log in hours and claim payments
The Nice scheme has been described as the "dress rehearsal" for
a nationwide NFC rollout in 2011.

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