We Finally Won Our Long-Awaited Patent!
PRESS RELEASE, June 11th 2013, Spokane, WA / Lausanne, Switzerland:
After capturing the hearts and minds of many with their innovative networking and lead generation tools, the team at Poken has now reaffirmed their position in the technology space with a newly approved patent, granted by the US Patent Office. While European and Chinese patents are pending, the company has shown promising advances in their business all over the world, making great headway in the events & trade show space. Poken was one of the very early companies innovating on top of a recently-launched industry standard technology called Near Field Communication, which allows short-distance interactions between devices. Originally created to allow mobile phones to communicate with payment terminals and thus power mobile-based payments, NFC technology has many broader uses as it helps structure communication between devices.
Poken’s first-mover, and now patented innovation, lies in using NFC within other devices such as USB memory sticks or toys, to record interactions which are then used in the context of a web-enabled service (“connected objects”, or “the web of things”). Poken’s business today revolves around “greening events and providing unprecedented lead generation”, as explains its Founder & CEO, Stéphane Doutriaux: “Most people don’t have, or don’t really care to have a mobile phone with advanced payment features that require NFC technology. In the trade show and corporate events space, we find that there is considerable interest on the part of the organizers to equip visitors with a simple USB stick that participants can touch to special stickers that are affixed to posters or documents, to collect the digital PDF instead of paper. It provides cost savings to the exhibitors, and far better metrics in terms of what visitors are interested in. Imagine walking around a trade show without carrying any flyers, catalogs, brochures. Just tap your USB stick to any document you want to collect – it’s so much simpler, and so much more effective.”
Poken’s vision of how objects can interact with each other and be enhanced with web-based features, as its patent reflects, goes far beyond the trade show space. ”We started applying for our patents 5 years ago, well before anyone was talking about NFC in mobile phones” continues M. Doutriaux. ” it’s only since Poken showcased that some very useful and cool things can be done through “touch” that Samsung, HTC, Nokia, and most other mobile handset manufacturers have started embedding NFC chips in their devices. We’re excited about all this – having our patented devices interact with mobile phones opens up even more promising opportunities”. Benefiting from funds from the Swiss CTI and originally grown out the VentureKick incubator, Lausanne-based Poken developed its own ASIC (microchip) with embedded NFC, which is now produced by Swatch Group company, Electronic Marin.
Here’s an interesting factoid: A patent search reveals that Sony recently applied for a patent that mentions Poken many times. It feels nice to be global thought leaders!