Norwich-based app aims to make everyday objects interactive

Neil Garner, former founder/CEO of Proxama, launches "Thyngs", a new Internet startup, at Whitespace

Neil Garner, former founder/CEO of Proxama, launches "Thyngs", a new Internet startup, at Whitespace in St Jame's Mill.PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

With contactless payments and apps like Apple Pay starting to become the norm it is getting easier to do everyday things at the touch of a button.

Now a Norwich-based tech company is aiming to introduce the next big thing as it aims to make objects interactive.

Thyngs, based at co-working hub Whitespace at St James' Mill, Norwich, is a new app launched by Proxama founder Neil Garner which brings items to life digitally at the touch of a mobile phone.

Using near field communication (NFC) technology, which is built into most phones not produced by Apple, and QR codes the program will bring up a website with more information on a 'thyng' when scanned.

The technology, which went live on the App Store on Thursday, will also allow companies to put out messages via beacons to Thyngs-enabled phones.

Mr Garner said he hoped the brand would become as familiar as contactless payments.

He said: 'Nobody is doing what we are doing. We are trying to do a bit of an education play and inform people about the technology in their phone.

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'NFC is in all phones that aren't iPhones and it hasn't really been used yet.

'We are getting our branding out there for it.'

A Thyngs starter pack is being put together which will contain everything a business or charity needs to make themselves interactive.

It will include NFC stickers as well as 'pyngers' to put out messages.

Users will be able to stick a Thyngs sticker to an item then create a web page for it on the app's network which will come up on a phone when scanned. He said: 'Our initial focus is on small businesses and charities, cafes, restaurants, bars and things like that.

'We've been working on ideas like fun treasure trails for charities as a way to show the technology.'

He added: 'Meeting people and doing things in the real world is much more fun than doing things in the digital world whatever we technologists do.

'We want to create digital experiences to go alongside these real world experiences.'

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