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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.
By Claire Swedberg
Because the process is cumbersome, the company reports, consumers often do not use photo kiosks to print mobile phone images. However, with NFC technology becoming more prevalent on mobile phones, Fujifilm UK—together with British NFC firm Near Field Solutions—developed a workaround to that concern. "We're keeping ahead of the game," Tiller says, "rather than trying to react" to technology that is already commonplace.

An RFID label printed with the Tap N Print logo is displayed at each kiosk, near its screen.
A user of the NFC system would first download the Fujifilm Tap N Print phone application from an app market, or from Fujifilm UK's Tap N Print Web site, then tap the phone near the Tap N Print logo printed on a label attached to the edge of the kiosk's screen. Embedded beneath the logo is a Smartrac BullsEye 13.56 MHz passive RFID tag, and the phone's NFC-enabled reader captures the tag's ID number, enabling the automatic Bluetooth pairing between the kiosk and phone. The consumer would then utilize the Tap N Print app to select pictures to print or incorporate into other products. Once the user presses "send," the pictures are uploaded via Bluetooth to the kiosk, and are then displayed on the kiosk screen. At this point, the individual can opt either to edit the pictures or to order specific quantities, and then complete and pay for the transaction.

"NFC is making the pairing between the phone and kiosk more convenient and faster," says Ivan Plajh, Smartrac's head of business line mobile and smart media. "Fujifilm is a pioneer in this market by offering this service."

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