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Conference Goers Use RFID to Get LinkedIn
Event organizers are set to trial a social-networking solution first tested by the UK & Ireland SAP User Group, and provided by Excelerated Apps, allowing LinkedIn members to share their "Likes" at breakout sessions and other presentations.
Feb 21, 2012—Conference attendees can now automatically send business-related links to those to whom they are connected via their LinkedIn accounts, using a system provided by Excelerated Applications Ltd. (Excelerated Apps). The solution, known as UpD8r (pronounced updater) Business, enabled LinkedIn members attending the UK and Ireland SAP User Group's 2011 conference to share information with their LinkedIn connections regarding their movements and the seminars they attended at the event.
The system works similarly to the other RFID-based applications that operate with Facebook and other social-network services used by event organizers to connect conference visitors to their Facebook friends or Twitter followers (see RFID Helps Make Friends for Israeli Teens, RFID Helps Call of Duty Video Game Come Alive and Vail Resorts Links RFID With Social Media). UpD8r, however, is designed for businesspeople, enabling them to utilize LinkedIn as their social network, to share what they are doing. Excelerated Apps is a British company that provides application solutions related to social media.
The UK and Ireland SAP User Group's 2011 conference provided the service to 160 of its 400 attendees who were also LinkedIn members and wished to share data regarding their time at the conference with others in their network. The strategy was to generate publicity about the conference, as well as the speakers and exhibitors from that event, by enabling attendees to share information with their LinkedIn connections. However, notes Richard Smith, Excelerated Apps' director, individuals would be most likely to share information about the conference with other LinkedIn members if the system were easy to use. Therefore, he says, NFC technology is employed to create an automatic link between a location or event and the LinkedIn member, by simply tapping a tag against a reader.
During the UK & Ireland SAP User Group trial, each conference-goer was invited to try the Upd8r Business system at no charge. Each attendee agreeing to participate provided his or her LinkedIn account name and user password, then received a lanyard with a badge, attached to which was a passive 13.56 MHz RFID tag. The tag, provided by British RFID company CoreRFID, is manufactured with an NXP Semiconductors Ultralight Mifare chip.
A half-dozen "In" stations, each with an RFID reader developed and manufactured by Excelerated Apps, had been installed at locations where presentations or sessions were being held. An individual attending a particular session could tap his or her badge near an In station, which would then read that person's badge ID and forward that information to the Excelerated Apps software on the hosted server, via a cabled connection. The software retrieved the LinkedIn user account and password associated with that individual's badge ID, and then transmitted data about the session or presentation to his or her LinkedIn account. For example, the attendee's LinkedIn page could indicate that he or she was "visiting the exhibitors in the King Suite at the UK and Ireland SAP User Group Conference"—and, in some cases, include a link to the specific exhibitor or speaker.
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