Poken banks $1m research award in Switzerland


Event technology platform Poken’s collaboration with Swiss microelectronics laboratory, CSEM, has been awarded $1m by the Swiss government’s innovation agency (CTI/KTI), for developing and miniaturising its ‘Touch-to-Collect’ microchip and NFC/iBeacon event engagement tools.

Poken’s tools help collect digital content from exhibitors and sessions, by them swiping a bracelet, a badge, or interactive USB stick in front of a small digital reader. Mobile phones equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) or iBeacon can also receive digital content and a visitor’s activity can be tracked and measured to help enhance content targeting and event logistics.

Poken’s Founder and CEO, Stephane Doutriaux, said: “We have been providing events and trade-shows with the most advanced ‘digital show-bag’, lead-generation, networking, and engagement capabilities for many years.”

Doutriaux added the company’s future expansion would include cashless payment and check-in access control for venues, allowing the company to address new markets including larger tradeshows, concerts, and sporting events.

Working together since 2010, Poken and CSEM have developed their own microchip to power the product set. The partners claim the Application Specific Integrated Circuit, or ASIC, is the world’s most compact and low-power NFC-compatible peer-to-peer communication chip.

The award, provided in the form of a research grant, Poken says, will it to push the miniaturisation, low-power-consumption, and affordability to new levels.

Marco Spirig, senior hardware engineer, at Poken described the award as “a solid vote of confidence in Poken’s advanced micro-electronics capabilities and proven track record in identifying unique, innovative business opportunities. Our microchip will be improved further so that it can be easily embedded into wearables, such as fitness bracelets and smart-watches”.