Vendor Announces Single-City Supply Deal for Google NFC Tags
The U.S.-based Identive Group announced today its ACiG Technology unit has been selected as exclusive supplier of NFC tags for the Google Places service in Austin, Texas.
Google launched the service in Austin in February, the second of five cities where it has introduced the NFC tags, which are embedded in stickers or decals that local merchants can display in their windows. Google earlier introduced the service in Portland, Ore., and last month in Las Vegas. It followed with Madison, Wis., and Charlotte, N.C.
Consumers with Android NFC smartphones, which at present is only Google’s own Nexus S, can download the Google Places app and touch their devices to the stickers to access information about the local business, including phone numbers, hours of operation, payment types, reviews and recommendations, noted the vendor.
The consumers can also rate or review the business on the Google Web page on their phones and later receive more personalized local recommendations in their search results based on their opinions and those of their friends. The ratings and recommendations service was formerly called Google Places with Hotpot.
ACiG Technology’s sister unit Smartag is making the NFC stickers. The company did not disclose how many of the stickers Google has ordered, but it is likely in the thousands.
A spokeswoman for Identive told NFC Times the company is not producing the tags or stickers for NFC Places launches in Portland Las Vegas or the other cities.
Google is expected to roll out the NFC-enabled Places service in other cities.
"NFC-enabled stickers are an integral part of our outreach efforts to local Austin businesses as they demonstrate the effectiveness of Internet spot marketing and help consumers quickly discover more information about a business," Bernardo Hernandez, senior director of consumer marketing for Google, said in a statement.
It is the first of many interactive services Google has planned for NFC as it seeks to extend its huge mobile advertising and marketing presence from the Web to physical merchants.
The Samsung-made Nexus S hit store shelves in December. Other Android NFC phones, such as Samsung's Galaxy S II, will support the service. The NFC version of the Galaxy S II is expected on the market by mid-year. The NFC-enabled Places service could later be available on non-Android phones.