At Fujifilm UK's RFID-enabled Kiosks, Consumers Can Tap N Print
The company is installing Smartrac NFC tags on 150 SmartPix kiosks deployed in Britain, enabling NFC phone users to quickly upload photos, via Bluetooth, for a variety of printing services.
Jun 27, 2012—Photography equipment and services provider Fujifilm UK is testing a Near Field Communication (NFC)-based solution to pair mobile phones with kiosks during Bluetooth transmissions, thereby enabling consumers to print or order pictures stored on their mobile phones, simply by tapping the phone and selecting which items to order or print. The system, dubbed Tap N Print, makes it easier to upload photos via a phone's Bluetooth functionality. Normally, to print pictures, a user has first needed to establish a Bluetooth connection by pressing buttons on the phone, in order to pair it with the kiosk for each photo to be printed. But for anyone using one of approximately 150 trial RFID-enabled Fujifilm kiosks, it is a matter of simply selecting pictures, and then transmitting them all at once to the kiosk for printing or other services, after tapping an NFC RFID tag on the kiosk.
The trial was launched at 22 stores, with the first installations taking place last month. Once the kiosks (which have Smartrac BullsEye RFID tags attached to them) have all been in service for four months, Fujifilm UK plans to evaluate the results. According to Julia Tiller, Fujifilm UK's product support manager of software and systems, the company has already noticed an uptick in Bluetooth-based transactions at the Tap N Print NFC-enabled kiosks—indicating, perhaps, that the NFC functionality is making Bluetooth easier to use.
To conduct a Bluetooth transaction, the user would typically place the phone within range of the kiosk, follow instructions to pair the phone with the kiosk, and select an image to send the photographs. If using another kiosk, the customer must again pair his phone with that kiosk. If printing multiple pictures simultaneously, he must follow instructions to pair and then send each individual photo.
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