Frustration over my ISIS enabled iPhone

I am getting a bit tired with my ISIS enabled iPhone. The case added weight to my iPhone. Most of the ISIS transactions didn’t work well. The only good thing is that I am getting free drinks from Jamba Juice until the end of March. Other than card emulation mode, none of the other NFC modes work. I can’t tap an NFC tag or an NFC enabled phone with the case to get the full benefits of NFC.  I think I might switch to an Android phone. Most of the Android smartphones are NFC enabled.

Looking back at the history of NFC’s development, I find the situation kind of ironic.  We had an NFC enthusiast, Google, demonstrate NFC card emulation mode’s value by implementing mobile wallet. Telecoms disabled the capability from the phones because they were developing their own mobile wallet solutions and wanted to control SIM-based NFC. So Google dropped SIM-based NFC, the most direct and secured way to protect security and privacy with Secure Element, and implemented HCE (Host Card Emulation) based mobile wallet. Even though it’s not as secure as a SIM-based solution, the HCE solution is beyond the control of telecoms.

Control provokes innovation by requiring creative solutions to market dominant. History repeats!

On the other end, Apple has been filing patents for NFC communication technology but still hasn’t added NFC capability into their devices. Their blue ocean strategy is to find a market space with no competitors. At the same time, their actions have slowed down the adoption of NFC technology and pushed BLE forward. Apple is also exercising a control with its vast user market. Again, innovation will emerge to escape the control. History will repeat.

NFC Solutions Summit 2014 will be held in Austin, TX on June 2-4. I trust that the NFC ecosystem will demonstrate strength and creativity on mobile wallet solutions through collaboration and innovation. Extreme early discount to purchase a ticket is available until April 2nd. Reserve your seat now!


NFC iPhone 4 ISIS Mobile Wallet Experience

Yesterday, I went to an AT&T store to enable ISIS mobile wallet in my iPhone 4. Even though Apple hasn’t added NFC chips into their devices, iPhone cases with NFC chips embedded are sold. There are two different cases available. One is Incipio’s CASHWRAP™ Mobile Wallet Case and the other is Isis Ready® Case. I chose an Isis Ready® Case.

The rep, having enabled her own iPhone 4s for ISIS, was very helpful to assist me. She put a micro SD into the case and provisioned my phone for ISIS payment. I went through a verification process to set up the mobile payment. I chose to use American Express Serve and received $50 credit upon activation. It took some effort (many taps) for the payment reader to recognize an NFC payment, but I was able to apply the $50 credit towards purchasing the case.

Then, I went into Jamba Juice to test out ISIS payment.  Jamba Juice offers free drinks until the end of March when customers use ISIS to pay. People working at the Jamba Juice helped me to use ISIS, though it didn’t work after many tries. They said they got a lot of “not working” ISIS payments, but they still gave away free drinks anyway to honor the offer. I wonder whether AT&T or ISIS keep in touch with the point of sale and collect initial surveys about  ISIS mobile wallet user experiences.

Today, I went to another AT&T store to find out how my ISIS transactions can be improved. Was my iPhone 4 too slow? Was the connection between my iPhone and the case working correctly? Was the particular case broken? The store rep informed me that I needed an ISIS SIM card to communicate with the reader. They installed a new SIM card into my iPhone. I went to anther Jamba Juice shop to test it. This time, it worked on the first try and the store indicated that they had quite a few people coming in with ISIS mobile wallet and that they didn’t have many problems accepting these payments.

It’s good to know ISIS mobile wallet does work for iPhone 4 and iPhone 4s. I will do more research about the ISIS SIM necessity for iPhone. The NFC cases are also available for iPhone 5. I wonder if we will still need an extra NFC case for iPhone 6. I am sure it’s a question in many people’s mind.

If developers are interested in learning NFC coding, please look into the NFC Forum Spotlight for Developers event happening next Friday March 21st in San Francisco. It’s much better to be prepared to write NFC apps before the technology takes off.

Are you using ISIS Mobile Wallet? What is your experience?


Big Data Analytics trends and Sensors’ Role

I attended the Big Data = Big Business Meetup last Thursday and a panel of experts shared their perspectives on the topic “Big Data Solutions – A look into Emerging Tools of the Trade”. It was a good session with 40+ participants.

One of the speakers, Tony Cosentino, VP at Ventana Research, shared the Big Data Analytics trends as follows:

  • Moving from 20th century designed data to 21st century organic data; from confirmatory analytics to exploratory analytics
  • Moving from sample type of analytics to sensors type. Analytics and data are coming together into one environment instead of being separate.
  • Moving the conversation from data to outcome or business orientation

I was particularly interested in Tony’s speech so I did some research about these trends as follows:

  • Designed data vs. organic data:

This Census Bureau’s blog explains that the Census Bureau has created “designed data” based on pre-specified purpose. In contrast, data collected  through internets, sensors and other systems are organic data. The blogger believed “The combination of designed data with organic data is the ticket to the future”.

  • Sample data vs. sensor data:

Sample analytics is used widely in the conventional market research. The research population is generally too big to be covered in a survey; therefore, researchers usually choose a portion of the population (i.e. sample) to do a survey. The sample size and selection are carefully determined in order to capture the representation of the whole population.

A sensor is a device that measures a physical quantity / activity and transforms it into a digital signal. Sensors are always on, capturing data at real time and powering the “Internet of Things.” Sensors can collect enormous data and Cloud computing and storage help to make the analytics possible.

  • Conversations on data vs business:

Data itself is not the focus of the conversation anymore. Nowadays, the business value provided by the big data is the focus.

I agree that the combination of organic data and design data will create valuable data. I believe we need to have a sampling mechanism with organic data since the volume is big. For example, NFC is one of the sensors. When the technology takes off, it will provide interesting data sets. How to translate the data into value added information for businesses take specific design.

This Hadoop blog suggests that “sensors can be used to collect data from many sources, such as:

  • To monitor machines or infrastructure such as ventilation equipment, bridges, energy meters or airplane engines. This data can be  used for predictive analytics, to repair or replace these items before  they fail.
  • To monitor natural phenomena such as meteorological patterns, underground pressure during oil extraction or patient vital statistics during recovery from a medical procedure.”

I think sensors go beyond these domains. For example: an NFC embedded wearable device can monitor body movements and vitals, such as heart rate and blood sugar. Digital health and fitness mentioned in a blog of Aaron Rose  is possible because of the sensors. The Fujitsu NFC smart glove shows a use case beyond digital health and there is unlimited space for monitoring these types of innovations.

These thoughts were triggered by a two hour Meetup. Can you imagine what thoughts will be triggered in two days? I am looking forward to attending the Big Data Innovation Summit held in Santa Clara on April 9 and 10th. With 80+ sessions, it will definitely broaden my vision and expand my imagination.

What are your thoughts on these trends?

Big Data Innovation Summit 2014

Big Data Innovation Summit 2014