Heralded as the first N.F.C.-powered digital tasting event, the fourth Manhattan Cocktail Classic’s opening-night gala was held May 11 at the New York Public Library With more than 60 brands pouring nearly 40,000 cocktails throughout the night, Lesley Townsend Duval, the founder and director of the Manhattan Cocktail Classic, had struggled over the years to find a way to help guests keep track of everything they’d tasted, experimenting with handing out printed recipe cards and selling $20 leather-bound, self-published books filled with recipes and photos. This could be done by inviting them to input information about themselves while purchasing a ticket online, such as their age, gender and musical interests, and then gaining more data regarding those interests as the guests used the NFC readers at kiosks located around the festival to indicate where they were and which bands interested them. Like the number of NFC enabled phones, the number of NFC Apps is growing quickly.
Everyone onsite was given color-coded bracelets to indicate where they were authorized to go, but this system was often confusing for personnel and yielded no historical data. This was due to the need for visitors to pick up the wristbands with the correct color-coding, according to their access credentials, and to then present the bracelets at the gate. NFC tags can be locked so that once data has been written, it can not be altered.
The solution used for FanX event included approximately 45,000 NFC woven wristband and 30 NFC readers, all supplied by Each attendee had to wear an CXJ NFC woven wristband to get entrance to the show. The actual amount of data varies depending on the type of NFC label used – different tags have different memory capacities. A standard Ultralight nfc tag can store a URL of around 41 characters, whereas the newer NTAG213 nfc tag can store a URL of around 132 characters.
Usually, this information is stored in a specific data format (NDEF – NFC data exchange format) so that it can be reliably read by most devices and mobile phones. The easiest way at the moment is to use an NFC enabled mobile phone such as the Nexus S running Android or a newer BlackBerry or Nokia. While the momentum behind NFC is likely to be driven by mobile payments, the technology is capable of much more.
It’s the same technology but whereas we are talking here about using NFC to transfer a web address or simple data, NFC payments are much more complicated and involve a mobile wallet on your phone and all sorts of other things. We generally feel that QR Codes and NFC tags sit alongside each other and both have their advantages and disadvantages. We think that the user experience with NFC tags is generally better and in the instances where the additional cost of using an NFC tag is less relevant to the overall cost (for example on a wristband, brochures or posters), it would be our preference.