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Canadian Startup Offers Interactive Digital Signage System

The Linkett NFC RFID reader, mounted on a video monitor, shares coupons, applications and other promotional information with consumers' NFC-enabled mobile phones and tablets.
By Claire Swedberg

The Linkett reader can identify a phone's unique ID number, and the Linkett cloud-based software can identify what other content that handset had accessed at other Linkett readers, thereby collecting data regarding that phone user's habits. Based on that information, Lusted explains, promotional deals could be directed to that individual. However, he says, that functionality is not yet in use. He adds that the software collects only the phone's ID number, rather than an individual's personal information, and does not share that ID with any other party.

According to Lusted, the technology provides greater functionality than the more traditional "smart poster" with an embedded NFC RFID tag that simply supplies a unique ID number to be interrogated by the phone's reader.

If a consumer is interested in what is being displayed on the video screen, she can tap an NFC-enabled Android phone or tablet against the Linkett reader in order to learn more or accept a promotional offer.
In about eight months, Lusted says, the company intends to offer a payment functionality that would enable users to transform a simple digital display or TV into a point-of-sale device. A consumer would be able to tap his or her phone against the Linkett device and make payments, Lusted explains, provided that person had supplied credit- or debit-card information to the Linkett system.

To date, Lusted reports, the pilots have included a small mom-and-pop shop, a large retailer, and several hospitality companies and financial institutions.

WestonExpressions maintains partnerships with several digital-content companies to aid any of its customers that do not yet have the content they would want displayed and shared. "We didn't make this solution for the engineers of the world," Lusted states. "We made it for marketing departments." As such, he says, the technology is designed to be very easy to use.

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