TRANSPORT for London is using Blackfriars underground station for a three-month trial of passenger information provision using near field communication.

NFC technology has been embedded in 19 'touchpoint' posters at the station as part of the Visualization of Real-Time Transport Interchange project developed by TfL, Imperial College London's Internet Centre and Kizoom with government funding.

Passengers enter their destination into specially equipped mobile Java handsets, which are then held next to the posters to receive a map pinpointing their location and detailed information about onward connections by underground, bus, main line rail and ferry services. TfL expects that the small number of handsets initially on test will be increased up to 500 during the trial.

Developed jointly by NXP Semiconductors and Sony, NFC allows electronic devices to talk to each other at speeds of 424 kb/sec over a range of around 40 mm.