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Kickstarter campaign NFC Ring wearables launched today

Bradford, England -- 1st October 2015
Following its goal-breaking Kickstarter crowd-funding success and entry into the wearable technology market, pioneering start-up NFC Ring is pleased to announce that a new generation of NFC Ring wearables is to be crowd-funded in a campaign starting on the 1st of October 2015. At least one new model offering significant improvements over the popular original design is to be introduced as a result of this campaign, and additional exclusive models will be included dependent on stretch goals being reached. Pricing for the new NFC Rings is set at $27-$35 for the duration of the campaign.
The NFC Ring is the world's first gesture-based near-field communication implementation and one of the most compact wearable computing devices in the world. Designed to address the real-world requirements of rapid information sharing and security combined with the aesthetics of the world of jewellery, the NFC Ring is capable of automating tasks from unlocking a door or starting a car engine to sharing contact details with nothing more than a wave of the wearer's hand.
Launched on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter in June 2013, the NFC Ring easily exceeded its initial £30,000 goal thanks to incredible interest from consumers eager to make better use of the NFC capabilities already present in their smartphones, tablets, and laptops. By the close of the month-long funding run in mid-August, eager customers had placed almost £242,000 in pre-orders for the wearable devices.
NFC Ring is now introducing new models made from advanced materials and boasting considerably improved performance over the company's pioneering original design. On the 1st of October, buyers world-wide will be able to participate in crowd-funding the new models, the first of which is called the "Eclipse." Further models will be made available during the course of the campaign as stretch goals are met.
The 2016 NFC Rings boasts significant improvements over previous NFC Ring designs. Most notable among these are improved operating range, improved storage size, and a more refined user experience. A redesigned antenna offers up to a three times increase in read range when compared with the original NFC ring design, making it easier to use with devices featuring weak NFC radios or thick cases. At the same time the capacity of the tag's data storage area has been boosted from 128 bytes to 888 bytes, making it possible to store more complex data such as Bitcoin addresses, encryption keys, and full VCard contact information.
The 2016 NFC Rings are priced at $27 for early birds and $35 for regular backers, and features a new slim design suitable for almost any hand size.
"We're so grateful to our Kickstarter backers for their support of our project," said NFC Ring co-founder and inventor John McLear, "and thrilled that we can finally offer the 2016 NFC Rings after many months of hard work."
Ever since the project was successfully funded, it has continued to gain media attention for its creators John McLear and Matt Mullenweg. The NFC Ring has featured on the BBC's technology magazine show Click and TV news broadcast Look North, MSN's Innovation video show, and has enjoyed positive feedback from publications including Fast Company, TechCrunch, PCMag.com, Mashable, The Verge, Gizmag and many others.
Fact sheet
Constructed from an advanced ceramic designed to improve operating range, comfort and appearance when compared with the metal original, the 2016 NFC Ring contains a pair of NXP Semiconductors NTAG216 near-field communication (NFC) integrated circuits with short-range antennas. Completely passive when not in use, the NFC Ring requires no battery or charging and is safe to pass through airport security scans without loss of data. Fully waterproof, the NFC Ring is designed to be worn at all times to provide fast access to the stored data.
Each 2016 NFC Ring contains two of these NTAG216 chips, which operate entirely independently. The ring is worn with one tag facing inwards and the other outwards, providing a unique gesture-based access control system which allows for the sharing of public data using a closed fist and private data using an open hand.
Each NTAG216 chip can store a total of 1 kilobyte (1KB), of which 888 bytes are accessible to users for storage of any data they require. These are not designed for mass storage - it would take 600,000 NFC Rings to store the same data as a single 600MB CD-ROM. Rather, the tags are suitable for storing small portions of data such as encryption keys, contact information, or links to external websites. This data can be shared by touching the NFC Ring to any NFC-compatible smartphone, tablet, laptop, or other computing device, or NFC-enabled home security systems, locks, time-tracking attendance systems, keyless vehicle ignitions, and even microcontrollers and microcomputers like the Arduino and Raspberry Pi when paired with a low-cost reading device.
The 2016 model year NFC Rings costs $27 and $35, depending on pledge level, and are available in US ring sizes 4.5 to 16. Additionally, McLear and Mullenweg - as part of their dedication to open-source ideals - have made the designs for the ring public, allowing users with access to 3D printing technology to customise their own designs and print them at home.
"NFC Ring" is a registered trademark owned by McLear Limited. The NFC Ring is covered by US patent 2015/0042450-A1.
Biographies of key executives
JOHN MCLEAR is the inventor of the NFC Ring, having scoured the market for a wearable NFC device that would be unobtrusive, comfortable and affordable only to find nothing matching his requirements. Having spent a year refining the design, McLear is rarely seen without his first-generation NFC Ring which he uses to share contact information and, using the private tag located on the underside of the ring, to start his car using an NFC-enabled ignition system. McLear is also the core maintainer of several open source web-based projects, including the Etherpad collaborative document editing platform, and is the founder of Bradford-based educational computing specialist Primary Technology.
MATT MULLENWEG is the co-founder of Automattic, the company behind the world's most popular blogging platform WordPress. Powering an estimated 68.1 million websites, WordPress is responsible for 10.7 billion page views across 48.5 million new posts every month - a figure which continues to grow. Mullenweg has been the recipient of numerous awards and accolades for his work, from being the youngest member of PC World's 50 Most Important People on the Web to being named an honorary patron of the University Philosophical Society in 2009.
Past press coverage
Wired UK, Fast Company, TechCrunch, Gizmag, Gizmodo, Washington Post, Microsoft MSN UK News, PC Mag, Wired US, BBC Click, ITN and ITV (TV shows)
Press Kit Download
Download this entire press kit in ZIP format (includes all assets).
Media contact information and Sample requests
Name: Tanya Alana Smithee
Email: tanya@mclear.co
Telephone: +448456801274

StepJockey raises £600,000 to fuel growth and corporate wellness innovation

StepJockey Ltd today announced that it has secured £600,000 in new investment capital to drive the company’s growth in the corporate wellness and facilities management sectors.
The investment round was led by London Business Angels (LBA) and was supported by Angels in Med City and Capital Enterprise. It includes substantial participation from Sevenex Capital Partners, the London Co-Investment Fund as well as a consortium of private investors.
StepJockey promotes wellness and fights sedentary behaviour in multi-storey office buildings by labelling stairs for calorie burn and gamifying stair use by staff. Combining the latest near field technologies and behavioural economics, StepJockey's unique smart signs and gamification platform enable employers to make their offices visibly healthier and more active without the need for large-scale capital investment. Benefits include:
  • More active and engaged employees
  • An ability to impact all staff within an office (not just the active minority)
  • Quantifiable ROI via time, energy and carbon savings
  • Rich data feedback for wellness, sustainability and CSR reporting
StepJockey was seed-funded by the UK Department of Health via the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI). It effectively combats sedentary behaviour in large office buildings - a leading cause of long-term illness and lost business productivity.
Since launch in November 2013, StepJockey has labelled more than 6,000 staircases in 90 countries. Customers include Deloitte, Disney, Barclays, KPMG, ITV, Jones Lang LaSalle, Lloyds of London and L&G as well as a growing number of hospitals, universities and public authorities both in the UK and overseas.
StepJockey will use the new capital to expand its sales, marketing and product development operations. Paul Nuki, co-founder and CEO of StepJockey, said: “We are delighted that such an experienced group of investors have backed StepJockey’s expansion. The new capital will allow us to bring our evidence-based and uniquely inclusive wellness intervention to many thousands of desk-bound office workers in the UK and around the world”.
London and the South East of England is rapidly becoming a key destination for life science research, development and commercialisation. Dr Eliot Forster, Executive Chair of MedCity, said: “Health-focused entrepreneurs are increasingly embracing the view that helping people to keep healthy and active is at least as important as developing better ways to manage and treat illnesses when they develop. StepJockey is a great example of that, taking a really innovative approach to how people can build activity into their day-to-day lives. I’m delighted to see the company growing and really pleased that we could support them through Angels in MedCity.”
Sevenex Capital Partners joined with private investors including leading life science analysts Duncan Moore and Mark Tracey as well as Rowan Gormley, CEO of Majestic and Nakedwines.com, in backing StepJockey.
Jonathan Feroze of Sevenex said: “StepJockey is not just a very clever, very scalable idea: it also has the potential to transform aspects of corporate well-being, culture and performance."
Anthony Clarke CEO of LBA, said: “It is encouraging that Step Jockey already has a significant number of worldwide customers and revenues from its highly innovative and scalable health and wellness platform which has the potential to change the daily behaviour of employees at work. It is notable that an LBA syndicate anchored by value-add lead angels investors alongside the 2015 LBA EIS Roundtable Syndicate Fund and our partner the £25m London Co-Investment Fund have also participated in this funding round”.
Notes for editors
StepJockey is part of the active design movement. We see the world as a gym and we make sedentary buildings active by promoting and gamifying stair use.
Our smart signs give the calorie burn data for office stairs and increase stair use in office buildings by 20%-40%. Our stair climbing Challenges can increase stair use by up to 800%. Unlike pedometers and other personal fitness devices, StepJockey impacts and engages the vast majority of people within a building.
It is this ability to involve all (not just the already fit minority) that is the key to designing and implementing a cost effective and impactful corporate wellness initiative.
Benefits for employers:
  • An effective and affordable way to promote health throughout the workplace
  • Improves staff engagement and productivity with quantifiable ROI
  • Engages and benefits everyone in the building, not just a minority
  • Clearly signals to stakeholders that you value a healthy work environment
  • Helps meet Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) standards
  • Reduces lift congestion, carbon emissions and improves fire safety
Benefits for consumers:
  • Rate and label any set of stairs quickly, simply and without charge
  • Track and compare your stair-climbing performance with a free app
  • Take part in stair climbing challenges with friends and colleagues
  • Improve the health of others in your building by labelling it for calorie burn
  • Be part of a global community which is promoting workplace wellness
Stair climbing facts:
  1. Stair climbing burns 8-9 times more energy than sitting and about 7 times more energy than taking a lift. Per minute, stair climbing burns more calories than jogging
  2. A Harvard Alumni Study found that men who average at least eight flights a day enjoy a 33% lower mortality rate than men who are sedentary
  3. You also burn calories going down stairs but perhaps more important, descending stairs builds bone strength and density - vital to reducing your osteoporosis risk
  4. Just 7 minutes stair climbing a day has been estimated to more than half the risk of a heart attack over 10 years
  5. Climbing stairs two at a time burns more calories per second but you get there quicker. Research shows you burn more calories on average climbing stairs one at a time.
Further Information
For further information on StepJockey please visit: www.stepjockey.com
Paul Nuki, Co-founder and CEO, can be contacted at:
Email: Paul.nuki@stepJockey.com
Phone: +44 (0)7770 536 043
A full range of pictures, info-graphics and case studies are available at: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/atr41cbu2qisfee/WphM-9Eo4X

LS telcom completes digital switch-over study for Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)

Lichtenau – Ottawa - LS telcom has completed a major consulting assignment as part of the Harmonized Caribbean Spectrum Planning and Management Project commissioned by the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) financed both projects, which include 14 Caribbean countries altogether.
LS telcom provided expert technical and economic consulting services on harmonized technical and policy approaches for digital broadcast switchover in the Caribbean; and developed recommendations for harmonized white space management in the region. Part of the study was the assessment and analysis of the situation in each participating CTU and OECS member country.
“The Caribbean region presents some unique challenges and opportunities. In many countries, the level of cable and fibre roll-out means that broadcasting could leap-frog digital terrestrial and use other digital methods for distribution. This then opens up the UHF television band completely for alternative services including mobile broadband and white-space,” explained Richard Womersley, Director of Spectrum Consulting at LS telcom and co-author of the recently published book “Understanding Spectrum Liberalisation”.
A stakeholder workshop and capacity building sessions were held in July during which the results and recommendations were presented and discussed and subject matter knowledge was transferred to a large number of Caribbean regulators and broadcasters.
About LS telcom
LS telcom’s software, system solutions, and services address the efficient use of radio frequency spectrum and the optimal operation of radio communication services.
We are a worldwide market leader in the provision of automated spectrum management systems and their integration with monitoring systems. We also have our own monitoring system, including fixed, portable, and airborne sensors. At the same time, we develop and market software for the design, planning, and optimisation of broadcast, PMR, mobile and microwave networks. Strategic consulting, radio engineering services, and training on network technologies, standards, and regulations as well as transmitter installations and measurements complete our area of expertise.
Frequency regulatory authorities, ministries, network operators and infrastructure providers, system integrators and military organisations in over 90 countries across all continents rely on our solutions and services.
LS telcom operates worldwide with subsidiaries and affiliates in Canada, China, France, South Africa, UAE, UK and USA, as well as representative offices in Argentina, Hungary, and Oman. With its headquarters in Lichtenau, Baden, Germany, LS telcom is listed on the German stock exchange under ISIN DE 0005754402 since 2001. www.LStelcom.com 

Spektrix crosses the 200 customer threshold

LONDON; 21 JULY 2015 - Spektrix, the leading cloud-based box office management software for the arts, today announced it now has more than 200 customers in the UK and North America, helping to drive significant growth in revenue alongside increased transaction volume. 2014 saw the company's expansion to North America and the signing of high-profile customers such as New York's famed Juilliard School and the West End's Nederlander group of theatres.
Founded in 2007 by CEO Michael Nabarro and CTO Matt Scarisbrick, Spektrix is now the UK's leading cloud-based box office management software for the arts, encompassing ticketing, direct marketing, fundraising and customer relationship management (CRM).
Spektrix brings marketing and analytics capabilities to arts organisations that were previously only affordable to banks and large retailers. The software allows them to quickly generate a holistic view of each customer and power audience development.
Other recent company milestones include the following:
  • More than 8.9 million tickets were sold using Spektrix's cloud-based platform in 2014, compared to 5.5 million in 2013
  • Total volume processed in tickets, donations, merchandise and memberships nearly doubled to £144,048,640 in 2014, versus £74,416,034 in 2013
  • Spektrix's installed base now exceeds 200 arts organisations, up from 135 at the end of 2013
  • In 2014 there were 1.2 billion web hits on Spektrix servers
  • Headcount has grown from 22 at the end of 2013 to more than 50 people today
  • The company now has three offices in London, New York City and Manchester UK
"Matt and I started Spektrix out of frustration with the limitations of expensive client-server technology, which is all that was available to arts organisations at the time", said Michael Nabarro.  "Since then we've led the way in bringing the SaaS approach and multi-tenancy to the arts.
"After years of steady growth we experienced the start of a surge in 2013 which continues to the present day. It's testament to our customer-first approach to product development, pricing, service and support", he added.
About Spektrix
Spektrix is the leading provider of cloud-based ticketing, marketing and fundraising software for the performing arts. Founded in London in 2007, Spektrix now enables more than 200 organisations in the UK and North America to provide a simple and intuitive ticketing journey to end customers. Sophisticated, real-time analytics and marketing tools allow arts marketers to be truly responsive to audiences, delivering targeted offers and communications that recognise the needs of individual theatregoers.  Customers include London's Royal Court Theatre, Town Hall and Symphony Hall Birmingham, the Bristol Old Vic, the Juilliard School, Round House theatre in Washington DC, and the Luminato Festival in Toronto.  Please visit www.spektrix.com.  
Infographic: Spektrix in numbers 2014.

Vodafone 4G+ technology leading the way as 4G+ speeds get even faster

Vodafone Ireland today has launched even faster speeds for mobile customers.
Having launched 4G+ last December with speeds of up to 150Mbps, Vodafone has today enhanced the service to deliver speeds up to three times faster than standard 4G. It's also available to more people across more locations within Ireland's five largest cities. 
Vodafone is the first operator in Ireland to deliver enhanced 4G+ speeds of up to 225Mbps. With innovative Vodafone 4G+ technology, customers can now experience the fastest speeds available on mobile to enjoy services like instant video streaming in HD, live TV with high reliability and the potential to broadcast live from events.  In addition, business customers can download high volumes of data even faster than ever before.
4G+ is available to Vodafone RED Business, RED Super Business, RED Extra, RED Super and RED Extra Super bill pay customers at no extra cost until March 2016 using a varied range of 4G+ enabled smartphones including the Samsung S5+, Sony Xperia, Z3+, and Vodafone Smart Ultra.
Commenting on the increased 4G+ network speeds in Ireland, Vodafone Technology Director, Madalina Suceveanu said “Customers are constantly using their mobile devices to do more - video streaming in higher quality, large file sharing and cloud storage. At Vodafone we pride ourselves on being one step ahead so that we are always ready to bring our customers the newest technologies first, to deliver a better experience. Our new faster 4G+ speeds are testament to this”.
For full details of 4G+ please see www.vodafone.ie/network/4g.