Tagstand, the YC-backed company focused on making NFC a more mainstream technology, is getting some action at a pretty big black-tie event in New York this weekend which will see its technology used to enable some nifty actions for the 3,500 guests, like tapping to tweet, posting pictures to Facebook and registering “likes” for the cocktails they’re drinking. Sounds like (kind of geeky) fun!
The event in question is New York’s big cocktail party for the opening night Gala at The New York Public Library, which is offering up 30,000 different cocktails, created by over 150 different bartenders. (Now you can see why “liking” a particular cocktail might come in handy – that’s a lot to remember.) In fact, after a guest likes a cocktail, they’ll be able to receive the drink recipe via a personalized email courtesy of foodie guide Tasting Table.
But to back up and explain how all this works: guests at the party are getting this Digital Goodie Bag which includes an NFC-enabled bracelet which they’ll tap on the NFC reader stationed at the top of each bar to like their drinks. Even cooler, guests can link up their NFC bracelet with their Facebook and Twitter accounts, enabling them to automatically upload the pictures they take at the party’s web-connected photo booths, they can tap to check in on Facebook Places, and they can tweet by tapping on the Library walls – all magically enabled via NFC.
Oh, and there will even be some guys roaming around wearing Bonobos clothing, who guests can tap to indicate that they like the ensembles, which automatically registers them for a chance to win the outfits. (Party hosts are requesting that all taps are waist-up, however. Given there are 30K+ cocktails to choose from, though…umm. Good luck!) There’s also an NFC-enabled giveaway, where guests can tap to register to win Virgin Atlantic Airways tickets and hotel stays and more.
According to Tagstand co-founder Kulveer Taggar, the client (ClearHart Digital) was already sold on the benefits of NFC and reached out to Tagstand for this event. It’s the first event like this that Tagstand has ever done like, but they already have more in the pipeline, Taggar says.
While a bunch of interactivity showiness/goofiness isn’t a first for the events industry, the notable thing here is how NFC could encroach into RFID’s territory when it comes to solutions like this. Tagstand built custom hardware, software and the wristbands for the event, but its readers are much cheaper than the ones on the market today. Plus, says Taggar, their reader has “a bigger read range, connects to wi-fi, has local storage in case of wi-fi problems, and, most importantly, we can re-purpose them for other use cases like loyalty, security, ticketing, etc.”
There’s also another benefit: using an NFC wristband to post pictures, check-ins and tweets saves party-goers from having their nose stuck in their phones all night. Imagine that – a party where you actually talk and interact with people, not your iPhones? Could such a thing really exist?