Parramatta gets $168k smarter

By Paul Hemsley

NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner announced Parramatta's 'Smart City' consortium as one of 11 applications in the funding for Collaborative Solutions: Mobile Concierge.

Mayor John Chedid said this project will create jobs and provide economic benefits.

“It’s been almost 12 months since Council launched ParraConnect as part of our Smart City concept and this funding is another step towards ensuring we’re at the forefront of digital technology,” Mr Chedid said.

Program participants will use 'smartcards' or Near Field Communication (NFC) to shop from participating retailers.

Workers, residents and visitors will have the opportunity to purchase goods and services remotely, dubbed as a 'virtual marketplace'.

A Parramatta City Council spokesperson said the smartcard has strong data protection and allows only authorised persons to interact with it.

The smartcards can hold large amounts of information and can access car parks, workplaces, libraries and be used as part of loyalty programs.

SGS Technologie Director and Program Manager, Frank Dorrian said this is the first time contact-less smartcards, (NFC) micro payments, and smart phones have been consolidated into a secure mobile eco-system.

“This new smart eco-system could re-invigorate the traditional city centres of Australian cities and allow small retailers to compete on a level playing field with their super-mall counterparts through mobile ordering and payments,” Mr Dorrian said.

According to Mr Dorrian, the scheme has already attracted national and international interest.

STMicroelectronics is the leading vendor providing smart-cards, mobile-phones, NFC-add ons and other hardware.

SGS Technologie will focus on integration and implementation of software and hardware.

Salt Mobile will provide tablet application and cloud hosting, GoTek will supply Android tablets, and WatchData will provide mobile NFC and form-factors.

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