Saturday, February 20, 2016

NFC Technology – Near Field Communication – My Pilot Project In Cairo

NFC Technology means Near Field Communication technology

NFC Technology or near field communication technology works on RFID technology

NFC Technology or near field communication technology works well in close proximities

NFC technology of near field technology is an RFID-based technology. It works well in close proximities exceeding not more than 4-5 centimetres. The closer is the proximity the better will be the results. Worldwide a lot of initiatives are being taken to boost NFC technology but as such no considerable and sustainable real-life mass project has been launched. Though there have been many pilots completed successfully but it still at a mass scale it has to see the day of light. When we talk of a near field communication enabled phone, Nokia 6210C was among the earliest. It was launched in 2007. I did a pilot based on NFC technology in the largest mall named City Stars in Cairo, Egypt. It was a true challenging venture as I had to manage the deployment single handed.

NFC Technology – Near Field Communication – My Pilot Project In Cairo

How it got initiated? Our India based IT Company was handling all the group companies spread across the globe. I am talking about the largest security company in the world. We were headquartered in the UK. Our group company operations faced a tough challenge and we were approached by our headquarter team to find out a solution. The company based in Cairo had deployed over 800 security guards and supervisors in City Stars. City Stars is situated in the hub of the city and is a most happening place in Cairo, Egypt. I was assigned the task to design, develop and deploy the solution for this challenge. The challenge arose when one of the guards deployed at 6th Floor of the mall absconded. He was assigned a duty near the 6th-floor emergency exit. There are two buildings – old and new, each having 8 floors. We know that emergency exits are rarely used, only in crisis. And when the crisis itself happens too rarely, it remains barren.

NFC Technology – Near Field Communication – My Pilot Project In Cairo

Three days later his dead body was found in the emergency exit area. That created an emergency for the mall administration to deploy a real-time alert mechanism. We exported 12 nos. of Nokia 6210 Classic from Scotland. Around 2000 nos. of various sized RFID tags and cards were procured from a local but reliable vendor. A web based solution was designed and a front end mobile based micro app was developed. The mobile applet would reside on the phone and will sync in an almost real-time environment with the server. There were multiple modules designed. One was to read every guard and supervisor for attendance at the time of his entry and exit. The supervisor on round used to read tags mounted on walls of the mall to ensure his actual tour is in place as per plan. If there is an incidence, the supervisor will capture snaps that will be transferred to the server in real time. There were many more issues that we were able to address. You can read the project details on my tech blog. The links to three posts are – post 1, post 2, and post 3.

Overall, the NFC technology or near field technology based solution was very successful. Soon it was deployed in many more countries for various solutions like the largest university in Saudi, some businesses in Kuwait and Turkey. That was a fantastico project driven by me. 

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can  apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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