Need NFC in Windows today but don’t want to wait for Windows 8?Feature
Posted by Seth PlanckSeptember 14th, 2011 at 7:02 PM Filed Under Featured, Latest News
Need NFC in Windows today but don’t want to wait for Windows 8?
In this post we look at Wireless Sensor Technologies and their Windows NFC SDK and other projects the company is working on in the NFC World.
Yesterday NFC took the final step towards becoming mainstream as Microsoft announced support for the nascent protocol in Windows 8, which will allow a myriad of Windows toting devices to be developed. These devices include NFC tablets, NFC laptops, NFC readers built straight into PCs and support for many more form factors. However, from when Microsoft announces a new version of its operating system to launch can mean it is still months, and if not well over a year, from being launched. Developers are hungry to develop NFC software now and want to deploy on Windows boxes as soon as possible. Starting to develop an NFC application or service now, when it could potentially take 16 months for Windows 8 to launch, doesn’t allow devs to pay the bills. So, why can’t Windows devs and users have the best of both world? They can now.
Earlier today we got down to business and chatted about everything NFC with Craig Tadlock, who is the CEO of Wireless Sensor Technologies. You may have caught our earlier post that described WST’s strategic partnership with UPM RFID, but that deep strategic partnership is more than just the supply of NFC tags. Today we started to discover just how deep the rabbit hole goes.
“The Windows announcement validated everything we are doing.”
Craig Tadlock, CEO Wireless Sensor technologies
Wireless Sensor Technologies NFC Model
There are plenty of innovative people in NFC. Some work for major corporations and some are bedroom developers or thought leaders. What isn’t so common is to find a company that is working on ten concepts at once, successfully, in a cash positive situation. In fact, out of the big software houses like Google, NXP and Microsoft, it’s rare to find anyone who has a working model now and today that is fueling the development of new and innovative products and services, and that is also generating enough revenue to enable growth. Wireless Sensor Technologies is that exception.
What NXP and Microsoft have basically done is written the software stacks for NFC and NDEF. Google did the same in Android and we can expect to see more do this in the future. In of itself it is clever, but lacks direction and goals. That’s exactly why having blank drivers that can be developed into a myriad of solutions appeals to developers. However, GoToTags have already launched what won’t be seen in Windows for well over a year and allow devs to get software ready for market, and allow it to be deployable right now. They even have the reader / writers that developers will need to start. So, if you are a developer and work with WST you can monetize your project as soon as it is ready for prime time and also be ready for when Windows 8 is released.
NFC is still in its infancy and as far as a business case is concerned, the time to start planning and developing a product is now. WST has a long back story with Microsoft and has ex-Microsoft executives on its team and keeps in contact with Microsoft on a regular basis.
We asked Wireless Sensor Technologies if they intended to support any other platforms. We can report that a Mac version will follow, and probably before that a Linux version will be available. Linux is an important step because most POS systems and web-servers that will enable NFC / cloud interaction run on the operating system. Craig Tadlock told NFC Rumors, “We will be building a Mac version, but our Linux version is just as important.”
The Wireless Sensor Technologies NFC model break down
“We have been stunned at how many people contact us on a daily basis. We have people in hospitals from island nations who want to use NFC, as well as a toy manufacturer who is going to release a product that uses NFC and that will change their model forever,”
WST operates as a consultancy for small and large companies who have an idea of a product, service or project that they would like to explore and deploy, but have no idea what is involved. Wireless Sensor technologies are starting to make a name for themselves by guiding clients through the process from an NFC day one educational ideology. WST also invents technology when the right technology isn’t in existence for specific tasks. Tadlock told NFC Rumors that he and his team have built a robot that would serialize and embed data on NFC tags. When you consider that NFC has the ability to use LBS (location based services), and combine that with each tag being representative of a unique customer, the analytics you could capture is far more advanced than anything around at the moment. The consultancy breaks down into two main different areas, which basically translates as one aspect of any project being focused on the target or for easiness sake let’s say tag, its form factor, its purpose and goal. The other side that needs to be explored is the initiator, or NFC device, that is going to read or take action based steps when exposed to a target. There is also the analytics requirements of a project as well and the company is a long way through developing something which it calls the GoToTag platform.
Another part of the model is selling NFC tags, but the company doesn’t only sell vanilla NFC tags. It also designs new form factors for those tags and has the ability to print to tags, which allows for NFC business cards and smart posters. Wireless Sensor Technologies’ products can be found at their BuyNFCTags.com site. We can’t tell you too much, but the partnership with UPM RFID is likely to result in more announcements and is more than just the supply of NFC tags.
Wireless Sensor Technologies also shared with NFC Rumors that it is working on NFC devices also. The company couldn’t expand on these devices but it does illustrate the levels of innovation that the company is using to develop with NFC.
In essence, Wireless Sensor Technologies provides tools for developers, consultancy and deployment capabilities for its clients and has NFC services and innovative products that range from actual devices to analytics packages, and of course, the jewel in its crown this week – Windows NFC SDK. Wireless Sensor Technologies, aside from their NFC prowess, are looking for strategic investors to help them speed up development.