One of the many startups I discovered at last week’s LeWeb was Connecthings. Founded by Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, Connecthings is supplying clients (companies, smartcities, etc.) with contactless mobile services today in order to create a valued mediation between a place or object and a human being. Laetitia worked as a consultant for years for mobile operators after having worked in the mobile industry. Connecthings’ CTO Laurent Le Jariel previously worked at Emailvision as the R&D director, painting a picture of strong technical team in the space.
Connecthings recently announced that their test implementation for the public bus system in Nice was a success – the implementation allowed passengers waiting at bus times to access information by swiping their smartphone over an indicator. The study found that 86% of people who used the service said they take the bus once per week, and would be interested in NFC services not only to get passenger information, but as a means of ticketing as well.
In addition to cities, Connecthings is powering NFC service for banks (BNP Paribas, Barclays, and Barco Santander), retail companies (Groupe Legrand, JCDecaux, Groupe La Poste, Pages Jaunes), and with major European Mobile Network Operators (Orange, Bouygues Telecom, EE, SFR, Orange).
Several studies have suggested that NFC will grow significantly over the next 3 years, with 2016 being a symbolic date for its critical mass, whether it be for retail transactions or other uses. The implications of NFC, which has been written of by those who say it will never be implemented by hardware creators, are massive, and with Orange announcing that all of its SIM cards will now come equipped with NFC (arguably not the best implementation of NFC on a smartphone, but interesting nonetheless), it is only a matter of time before NFC is adopted by lagging smartphone manufacturers. *cough* Apple *cough*