After an early morning heading from London to Paris, and lots of walking the streets of the French capital we arrived at the Orange Labs (Innovation Gardens). A rather indifferent creamy coloured block, with a kind of garden in the middle. We made it into the venue to be greeted by nobody at the door and found ourselves wondering where the refreshments were, where somebody official was and what the WiFi password was. Not a good start, surprisingly poor from Orange.
We went through our Bloom NFC presentation with our prototype ready to roll. In the presentation hall we were able to run through our slides making sure we were under the five minutes, but to our astonishment there was no projector for demoing the app - instead we would have to crouch down by the judges or do a video. So a quick video outside was made (it has to be said the Neuxs 4 did a poor job, struggling to focus for some reason).
Eventually things started to pick up, the place filled up and we got underway. Everything was in French, this was a French competition that was accepting applications from across the world and yet some seemed positively surprised to see some Englishmen there. Oops.
The opening idea and presentation - NFC Sante (Health) - set a high standard, and for us was a perfect one to win the top prize: an NFC wristband that would contain your essential health information. Extremely usual, simple and potentially lifesaving. We were up 7th, things went well, and we ended up playing the video with Chris crouched by the judges showing off the app. No questions asked.
At the interval we got great feedback from a senior Orange employee and an angel investor. Our NFC health friends also liked it. There was always somebody that knew somebody that would use the Bloom service, we can all do with a gardening assistant. The second half rolled on, with a few nice ideas. One we liked was NFCity, a treasure hunt / mission app using NFC stickers dotted around a city to provide clues or missions in order to discover what the city has to offer. Fun, interactive and a great way to use NFC.
Well, as with every competition that uses judges, the results are a matter of opinion. Bloom NFC did not win anything, not sure an English team winning a French competition would have gone down well. Sadly though none of the ones we felt were good won either.
Still, we met some great people. Drowning our sorrows with the NFCity gang was fun, hopefully they’ll do something in London and we’ll see them here. As for Bloom NFC, watch this space.
By: Lindsay Butler+
First appeared on: http://www.longtap.com/blog.php