NFC smart posters are providing smartphone users with a digital programme book for WDC Helsinki 2012, featuring real-time event updates and news.


Global digital service design company Fjord worked with World Design Capital (WDC) Helsinki 2012 to develop a mobile application as part of the official programme for WDC Helsinki 2012. The aim of the mobile app, ‘WDC 2012’, was to provide an up-to-the-minute event programme and the first ever WDC programme in the format of a mobile app.


Fjord and WDC Helsinki 2012 wanted to create a simple and easy-to-use application for tourists and residents of Helsinki and surrounding cities during 2012. With over 300 projects during one year, a traditional printed programme would have been costly and challenging to keep up-to-date, distribute to visitors and carry around.


NFC ‘shortcuts’ – nearly 20,000 BullsEye™ NFC tags with NXP Mifare UL chips embedded in posters and stickers – will be distributed around the city of Helsinki and in surrounding cities during 2012. Smartphone users will download the WDC 2012 app by tapping their NFC phone on these smart posters in a number of locations such as the airport, hotels, city tourist information offices, universities and museums.

The WDC 2012 app is available in English, Finnish and Swedish, and gives users access to:


  • current highlights and the event programme, sorted by time and location
  • a map, a monthly calendar and information related to all WDC projects and their location.

It is available for Android and Nokia phones, and will be released in the near future for Apple iPhones and iPad tablets.


  • The app is always up to date, easy to use and carry around. The user-friendliness of the application means that first-time users will have a positive experience of NFC technology, making it easier for them to adopt the technology and access other apps as well.
  • App-users’ needs have been taken into account right from the initial phase of design. This means one of the main objectives of WDC Helsinki 2012 becomes a reality through the deployment of NFC technology – ‘an improved environment through embedded design’.