Building Enterprise and Branded Apps with NFC

In business, setting yourself apart from the competition is crucial. While there are many ways to do this, one way is to find what sets you apart and makes people want to discover more of what you have to offer. One option to achieve this is by incorporating NFC into your enterprise and branded consumer apps. nexus5-nfc
 
What exactly is NFC?
 
NFC stands for Near Field Communication. Tap two NFC-capable devices together gently, or just hold them near each other, and share data. One device can also read data stored on inexpensive chips called tags.
 
How does NFC work?
                          
NFC transfers information from device to device via radio waves. In the case of tags, the NFC chip in a powered device induces a small current in the tag to activate it.
 
Currently there are three modes of operation supported by the NFC standard. They are:
 

  • Peer-to-peer mode: Where two devices exchange information with one another with a simple tap together

  • Read/write mode: Where the device links to another device to read information from it

  • Card Emulation: Where the device can be used as a credit card to make payments or be used for things such as public transportation

 
With these different modes, an NFC-enabled device can act as a unique identifier, an information reader, or a data transfer conduit.
 
Benefits for the Consumer
 
Consumers are constantly looking for little "life hacks" that can aid in their daily lives. Anything that can streamline their day is desirable. NFC is one way to cater to your customer’s needs.
 
No one wants to spend the day waiting in line, right? Contactless payment systems help speed transactions through. Instead of fishing for cash or credit cards, consumers can simply wave their phones at a payment terminal. The same wave that deducts funds to pay can also record the transaction in the retailer's loyalty app.
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Virtual payments using NFC are growing in popularity quickly, as everyone loves shorter wait time and easy access to coupons. Happy customers mean repeat sales and great word-of-mouth for your business.
 
Benefits for the Business
 
NFC doesn’t just help consumers. Businesses have as much to gain from taking advantage of this technology in enterprise apps. Virtual business cards can be exchanged with a tap. Phones can link up with speakers, televisions, and Wi-Fi networks quickly for presenting and sharing information.
 
By streamlining daily tasks and making information easily obtainable through innovative apps, NFC provides countless benefits.
 
For more information on how you can incorporate NFC into an app for your business contact a mobile app expert at (603) 881-9200 or email us today!


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Infographic: Your Employees are Already Using Mobile Apps with Company Information

Workers use whatever tools are at their disposal to get the job done. Increasingly, that means utilizing commercially available mobile apps that might not meet security requirements for your business.

The solution? Custom enterprise apps, designed and developed with your specific needs in mind. Call 603-881-9200 or email us to get started. In the meantime, share this infographic with anyone responsible for confidential data!

mobile-app-infographic
 

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Develop Enterprise Apps To Enhance Your Business

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In 2013, we saw a huge expansion in the field of enterprise app development. Enterprise apps – mobile applications designed for in-house use by businesses – allow companies to improve communication, streamline operations, and boost work efficiency. Enterprise giants like IBM, Oracle, and SAP have already made heavy investment in enterprise applications.

Why is the decision to develop enterprise apps gaining momentum? Developing enterprise apps has amplified business efficiency by reducing cost, minimizing risk, and increasing profit potential and business growth.
 
Transforming the Business Ecosystem

In a Bring Your Own App (BYOA) environment, employees are encouraged to use their own third-party consumer apps on their devices. Workers can choose the apps they find personally effective and the company doesn’t have to invest anything. It creates a stumbling block, however, when employees try to share documents and files across platforms and devices. It can also introduce serious security holes as sensitive information is shared via email, instant messaging, and a spiderweb of shared cloud storage folders.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has become a standard practice in many businesses. By allowing their employees to use their own smartphones, tablets, and laptops, businesses are expanding accessibility and ownership of the workplace environment. Business hours, and the ability to reach employees, become more flexible and efficient. Surveys reveal that adopting BYOD policies result in significant company savings, as BYOD can eliminate the need to purchase new devices.

Enterprise apps can be crucial additions to the BYOD office. When the marketing team is divided between Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows, a BYOA approach that supports productivity on disparate platforms and is secure can be a significant challenge. In building hybrid enterprise apps, companies can create cohesion between devices and streamline the transition between office desktop to personal smartphone. Gartner predicts more than 50 percent of mobile apps will be hybrid by 2016.

Cloud-Enabled Enterprise App development is the ultimate answer to the Bring Your Own Device workplace. It is an efficient and cost effective strategy for enterprises. Technology giant Oracle, for example, introduced a cloud-based mobile platform to make it simpler to develop business apps. Oracle Mobile Cloud Service lessens the complications and cost of application development by guaranteeing safer connections to back-end enterprise systems. It delivers ready-to-integrate mobile specific features such as sync, notification services, and security integration, and enables companies to optimize operational expenditure and capital. It also ensures quality and wider reach by enhancing responsiveness and improving the customer experience.

Interested in learning more about developing an enterprise app for your business? Take a look at our enterprise mobility page, email us, or give us a call at (603) 881-9200.


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Beyond Fitness: The Future of Wearable Devices in Healthcare

Wearable Devices in HealthcareWearable Technology is the new bon mot (literally “good word”) in the healthcare market, with high growth potential and endless opportunities for high tech solutions. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has started a pilot program in their emergency department that equips the doctors with Google Glass, allowing them to sort through medical records without ever leaving the patient’s side.  In another hospital, a surgeon used Google Glass to consult with another surgeon during an ACL surgery.

Aside from creative uses of existing hardware, a number of innovative devices have been introduced in recent years in the fields of wearable fitness technology, sports, healthcare, and wellness. In recent years, consumer devices have increased the impact of technology on healthcare. We have put together a list of some of the latest wearable devices in healthcare.

VSM 1: This wearable tech device from Biovotion monitors vital signs, providing accurate and real-time health information similar to devices in hospitals. Simple to use, the wireless vital sign monitor syncs data with the cloud to be accessed on a PC or mobile device. It allows for the continuous monitoring of patients with chronic health conditions, both at home and out in the world. Biovotion’s entry of the VSM 1 was selected as one of five finalists in the Healthcare & Wellness category of the Wearable Technologies Innovation World Cup in January 2014.

Digital Health Feedback System: You can now eat technology – on purpose. An ingestible sensor by Proteus Digital Health sends a unique identifying number to a patch worn on the outside of the body, which in turn relays information to a mobile device. The sensor, just 1mm square, is completely powered by stomach fluids and designed to be digested like any other pill. The system records heart rate, temperature, activity, and rest patterns.

TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation): A TENS machine is wearable health care device that sends small electric currents to areas of the body experiencing chronic pain. Electrodes are attached to the skin with adhesive pads. Some portable models feature Bluetooth connectivity and can be linked to a smartphone app for tracking and managing pain.

Wireless Blood Pressure Wrist Monitor: iHealth has developed a wrist-based wearable device in healthcare, playing off the popularity of smartwatches. It is designed to monitor blood pressure, with motion sensor technology that makes the data more accurate. It can be connected with iHealth’s My Vitals app, which allows real-time tracking of your systolic or diastolic blood pressure numbers, heart rate, pulse wave, and measurement time. It can even create charts to track changes over the course of the day and historical data.

The new wave of wearable devices is transforming the healthcare community by putting data directly into the hands of patients, as well as creating new diagnostic and monitoring opportunities for healthcare practitioners. What medical information would you like to see integrated with mobile technology?
 


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Augmented Reality Glasses on the Horizon Now

The term Augmented Reality (AR) describes digitally enhancing a view of a physical, real-world environment. Elements such as text, graphics, and video are overlaid on what a user sees. One way to view these enhanced images is through AR glasses. Check out some of the current AR glasses that have hit the market.
 
To begin, we start with Google Glass. Hacks are plentiful for using Glass with Google’s own AR game, Ingress, and speculation abounds that official support might be coming. Other big-name apps with officialvuzix-m2000ar Glass extensions include Twitter, Evernote, and Facebook. Lots of unofficial apps can be found at sites like glassappsource.com and glass-apps.org.
 
Next we have the Vuzix M2000AR. This see-through AR system design offers hands-free access to information for industrial users, training personnel, heavy equipment operators, and assembly workers. It acts as a mobile display system with a built-in camera to provide augmented content to the operator. The screen goes over one eye and displays a 720p, full-color image. Because it’s intended for the work site, the M2000AR doesn’t even try to blend in or be fashionable – in fact, it comes complete with a hard hat.

meta-proThe Meta Pro starts shipping in September, but already boasts more than 500 augmented reality apps. Resembling thick sunglasses, this unique eyepiece is designed with a much larger screen area than Google Glass and possesses greater computing capabilities. It allows the user to interact in 3D space with their hands through the use of its sensors. The bulk of the computing power is housed in an attached pocket computer, feeding the holographic display in front of your eyes.

Finally we have Optinvent’s ORA-S. The ORA-S smart glasses can display directly in the user’s line of sign or a bit lower with the flip of its projection hardware. Its Bluetooth interface enables eight hours of battery life for mapping, messaging, photo, aora-s-smart-glassesnd other applications. Pre-orders ship in May.

Augmented Reality is becoming more prevalent in business, education, entertainment, sports, navigation, and medical science, providing for an authentic learning experience for workers, educators, healthcare professionals, the military, the tech-savvy individual, and gamers and game developers. Undoubtedly the technology will become more refined as time goes on. What kind of apps can you envision for wearable augmented reality displays right now?


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