Archive for the ‘News’ Category

RNF to Deliver Mobile Innovation into High-End London Boxing Gym BXR

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RNF Digital Innovation is pleased to announce a brand new partnership with newly formed high-end London boxing gym brand BXR.

BXR is collaboration with Rob Piela, the mastermind behind New York’s cult gym, Gotham in New York.  BXR London, will be launching in the heart of Marylebone in early 2017.

RNF will be developing a website ( and an app for the brand to support membership.  The app will act as a member’s entry card, allow them to book classes and appointments with trainers and therapists and even pay for food and drink whilst at the gym.  In addition it will sell BXR sportswear and provide valuable member analytics allowing BXR to manage its customer relationships more effectively.

Rob Mannion, RNF Digital Innovation Managing Director, said: “This is a really exciting project to be involved in as it once again allows RNF to showcase their expertise in cutting edge app and web development.”

BXR Founders said “We were really impressed with RNF’s capabilities and were especially interested in the technology they use to develop their apps and the quality of the end product, which for us, with our exclusive target audience, was absolutely key.”

Bestway Cash and Carry iBeacon App Campaign Shortlisted for “Mobile Innovation” Award

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New Thinking Awards Logo

We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the “Mobile Innovation” category at the New Thinking Awards, sponsored by Sky Media. This is particularly pleasing as the awards pride themselves in  spotlighting organisations that are challenging the status quo in terms of innovation and cultural change.

The awards will be judged by a highly experienced and illustrious panel of judges on the 28th September.

Baxi partners with RNF to drive business innovation through apps

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baxiRNF Digital Innovation has been chosen by Baxi to help realise its ambition to lead the boiler market in terms of innovation.

The partnership is a direct result of the newly founded Tech Central initiative that brings local government, education, and businesses together to expand the digital economy in Warwickshire.  It showcases the county as a hub of innovation, capable of rivalling London’s Tech City.

Baxi’s Genuine Parts General Manager, David Willetts, heads up the Baxi Heating innovation programme.  He has been exploring how the Company can continually innovate to help set it apart from the competition, and specifically how working with local partners to help support the local economy.  A Tech Central networking event bought the two companies together.

Rob Mannion, RNF Digital Innovation Managing Director, said: “We have been working for some time with local blue-chip companies such as Calor Gas and Bridgestone Tyres on their mobile business strategies. We are leading the way with mobile innovation through the use of new location technologies such as iBeacons and Geofences navigation technology and by adopting new development frameworks like React Native that allow us to develop enterprise-grade apps in record time. Baxi wanted a local partner that could help it on its journey and we’re delighted that it has chosen RNF due to our first-class credentials.”

Dave Willetts said “It’s great to discover a mobile tech company right on our doorstep that not only has the experience to deliver a mobile strategy into our business, but also shares our vision of continuously innovating.  We believe the partnership will be beneficial to both parties for many years to come.”

Getting ahead of the competition using Geofences


Dashboard   portisco

Since the successful launch of the Bunker Buoy fuel quotation app two years ago, RNF have been working with the company to give port agents a competitive edge.

Port agents help luxury superyacht crews obtain everything from basic supplies through to hard to come by theatre tickets and everything in between.  Knowing in advance that a particular superyacht is on its way into port would give a particular agent an advantage over the competition.

Using RNF’s bespoke ‘intelligent’ mobile engagement platform Beam, 25 luxury marinas worldwide have been geofenced so that when a superyacht enters the geofence a notification is sent to the crew giving them details of the local port agent and their various services.  In addition, participating port agents are automatically notified that a potential customer is about to arrive meaning they have a chance to get ahead of the game and secure the business.

Neil Miller, Founder and ‘Head Buoy’ of Bunker Buoy, said: “Extending our offer to a wider range of port services than just fuel was the natural progression for Bunker Buoy. The Beam mobile engagement platform has allowed us to not only add an enhanced customer experience for our App users, but also to give port agents a competitive edge. Everyone’s a winner.]

Rob Mannion, Managing Director of RNF Digital Innovation who have developed the Beam platform said: “Geofencing adds an exciting level of customer engagement and our Beam platform is the perfect way to manage this new technology.”

Overview of Beacon Options in 2015/2016

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Apple’s iBeacon

ibeaconThe original “beacon” standard, iBeacon is Apple’s branding for a Bluetooth Low Emission (BLE) protocol, which is essentially a standard for emitting a three-component identifier consisting of UUID, Major ID and Minor ID. The identifier is sometimes referred to as unique, but in fact any number of beacons can be configured with the same identifier. This permits a degree of redundancy.

Two other ways in which a beacon’s configuration can vary, according to this standard, are the interval and the transmission power (txPower) at which the identifier is emitted. If a particular beacon manufacturer offers any other configuration options, then these will generally be vendor-specific. The beacon’s battery level is typically also available, though the format of this information is not part of the iBeacon standard – something that along with other forms of telemetry (status) information is likely to change in the future.

Because the basic iBeacon standard does not allow for any more information to be included in the communication between a beacon and a detecting device, it is down to the device to make sense of the identifier. Applications therefore invariably use the identifier to look up some information. The information may be held on the device itself or it may be held on a server, with the content of interest being returned via an API.

Though iBeacon is a trademark of Apple, any device capable of BLE, which communicates the aforementioned identifiers, can participate in iBeacon-based applications. This includes Android and Windows devices and not just Apple’s i-devices.

One further observation is that Apple’s devices (the more recent generations of devices, at least) are themselves iBeacons. This can also lead to some interesting applications.

All of the leading beacon manufacturers support the iBeacon protocol.

Google’s Eddystone

eddystone-460wGoogle’s answer to iBeacon is Eddystone. It relies on the same type of hardware as iBeacon. However, beacons supporting the Eddystone protocol, instead of emitting a three-component identifier, emit an opaque ID, a URL and telemetry information called Eddystone-UID, Eddystone-URL and Eddystone-TLM respectively.

If an Eddystone beacon communicates a URL to an app, then this can be used directly. This is in contrast to iBeacon’s three-component identifier, which is typically used to look up some information – often a URL. Eddystone therefore potentially bypasses one technical step (the lookup), though this by itself does not result in any benefit for the end user.

By standardising the communication of telemetry information, such as battery level, Eddystone has also addressed a shortcoming of the current version of the iBeacon standard, which leaves the format of this information to the Beacon vendor (making it somewhat more arduous to manage suits of beacons from different vendors.)

Samsung’s Placedge

placeedgeThough interest in beacon-based applications is growing, one of the biggest inhibitors to uptake is the fact that, in order to profit from the presence of beacons, one needs a dedicated app to listen out for them. No app, no notification.

To address this problem, Samsung announced a technology in 2014, which they call Placedge. Samsung phones – only Samsung phones with a special extension baked into a proprietary version of Android – listen out for any specially configured beacon in their vicinity. Thus a store could potentially send messages to customers, even if the customer has never downloaded the store’s mobile app.

This concept is obviously particularly appealing to organisations, which do not have an app, and which have no intention or ability to create one. It is also of interest to organisations that do have an app, and would like an opportunity to inform potential users of its existence.

However, the approach undoubtedly increases the risk of targeting members of the public, who have absolutely no interest whatsoever in being targeted. This, in turns, risks alienation, rather than providing something useful.

A further shortcoming of the Placedge solution is that it targets only Samsung device owners, losing out on a large swath of iOS users as well as owners of other Android devices.

These shortcomings may explain why very little time has been given to Placedge in the tech media since its launch.

Bestway Mobile app downloaded 10,000 times

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IMG_5926_iphone6_spacegrey_side2The Bestway mobile app launched in September last year has now reached the milestone of having been downloaded 10,000 times by businesses across the UK,  providing more evidence that the group remain the leader when it comes to digital technology within the wholesale sector.

The award-winning app boasts a host of functions including previous order history and in-built product scanner with real-time product catalogue and availability details.

RNF’s Managing Director Rob Mannion says “This is a significant milestone for the Bestway Group and we look forward to delivering many new exciting updates throughout the year. Since its launch the app has continually evolved to improve the customer experience, ensuring it remains at the forefront of any comparable services within the sector”

The app, which is available and free to download for Apple and Android devices, now accounts for around 17% of the group’s total online sales and is the preferred method of ordering for 30% of users who either click and collect from their depot or have ordered stock delivered to their business.

Dawood Pervez, marketing director of Bestway is delighted by the uptake from customers; “When we launched the Bestway mobile app last year, the whole idea was to make it as simple as possible for customers to do business with the Bestway and Batleys ensuring that they could browse and order whenever and wherever they chose to. To have the app downloaded 10,000 times is not only a great success for the group but also shows how customers are embracing new technologies to help them trade more profitably in the changing face of retail. We will continue to innovate and bring new solutions both online and in-depot to make sure that we continue to meet the needs of our valued customers.”

RNF Digital Innovation shortlisted in the national eCommerce Awards for Excellence

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The eCommerce Awards for Excellence, in association with Chase Paymentech, celebrate the very best the industry has to offer from innovations and campaigns to customer service excellence and revenue growth.

RNF has been shortlisted alongside House of Fraser, John Lewis, Toys ‘R’ Us, New Look, ASOS, Fortnum and Mason, Superdrug and Laura Ashley, and will compete for the Best B2B Ecommerce award.

It has been shortlisted for his work with the Bestway cash and carry company. RNF has devised, developed and delivered an app for Bestway which is now operated across its 62 centres, and a new iBeacon system which directly gives each Bestway customer personalised information.

The Bestway shopping app, which features an internal barcode scanner and access to over 20,000 products with real-time price changes, has now been downloaded more than 10,000 times and is regarded as the leading app in the wholesale sector.

RNF has also rolled out iBeacon technology to all 63 Bestway depots which allows personalised information to be directed to customers based on their exact location, the time of day, and can be influenced by their previous shopping history and many other parameters such as customer type or even the weather!

The system is managed is through the BEAM Platform, also devised by RNF, which has received financial backing from Innovate UK.

Rob Mannion, RNF Digital Innovation Managing Director, said:  “We have been delighted that the app and the iBeacon technology has made such an impact.

“Bestway have really been leading the charge with this technology, and is causing waves throughout the wholesale and retail industry leading to some very encouraging enquiries.

“We are alongside some leading industry names for these awards and it will be an opportunity for us to showcase just how we can help companies improve their service offerings with the effective deployment of mobile technology.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on September 30

Seeking motivated and ambitious developers!

RNF is looking to hire new people to join our highly talented development team. If you are interested or know someone who might be, we need people that want to work with cutting edge mobile technology and that are equally passionate about quality. Please contact us directly for more information.

Job Description

Develop high-end, high-quality mobile enterprise apps for industry-leading clients using the most productive tool chain ever devised: React JS and React Native. In this environment, you will work with a highly experienced development team, where quality is paramount and promoted though the systematic use of agile (scrum), rigorous unit- and integration testing, continuous integration, peer reviews etc.

The applications you will develop are designed to drastically improve the enduser’s work efficiency; and make extensive use of mobile device capabilities, including in-app payments (Apple Pay), location-based services, geofencing and iBeacons.


JavaScript, ES6, npm, Jasmine
Experience with React JS, React Native, Angular JS, iOS advantageous.

RNF Digital Innovation seek partners for BEAM platform following £250,000 grant award

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RNF Digital Innovation has secured £250,000 of funding to build upon their ground breaking iBeacon management platform.

The six-figure grant was secured from Innovate UK, to develop the BEAM platform, an iBeacon management system which enables businesses to manage the “user experience” as customers interact with sensory devices such as iBeacons through an online dashboard.

The BEAM platform offers a revolution in how companies or organisations connect with their customers.

It means that businesses or brands will be able to manage and direct relevant messages and content such as offers or promotions tailored to individual customers, as soon as those customers come into close contact with individual iBeacons. 

It will be made available to a wide range of sectors including retail, leisure, tourism and local authorities, where it can be used in museums, theme parks, resorts, town centres, libraries, hospitals and municipal buildings.

The £500,000 BEAM development project, which includes £250,000 match funding alongside the Innovate UK grant, will build upon RNF Digital Innovation’s existing iBeacon programmes which has seen them develop indoor navigation systems for Bestway Cash and Carry, one of the UK’s largest cash and carry operations.

RNF Digital Innovation has already signed up with a number of corporate partners, and is seeking further companies in target sectors to work with the BEAM platform, and will be rolling out its first trials within the next few months.

Rob Mannion, RNF Digital Innovation Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to have secured this further funding from Innovate UK and with it we will be able to develop one of the most advanced iBeacon management platforms available.

“Whilst small fleets of beacons are easily managed, the control of large fleets of beacons is a far more complex process and can result in the consumer being bombarded with information of no relevance to them.

“The new BEAM platform will enable businesses to alert individual users to a whole array of offers and information completely relevant to them, their interests and individual purchasing preferences.

“It’s a really exciting new project and we look forward to making more announcements about the project once we have completed the initial trials in the next few months.”

SME Safety Wizard hits Apple’s top ten downloaded Business Apps

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1_iphone6plus_spacegrey_side2RNF Digital Innovation’s new Safety Wizard app, designed to help small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) meet their health and safety requirements, has proved an instant hit by entering into the UK’s top ten chart for business downloads. 

Only days after its release onto the Apple i-tunes store, the Safety Wizard has proved so popular its entered in at number 9 in the chart for the most downloaded UK business apps for Apple iOS devices.

The app has been downloaded over 1,200 times since it was first launched onto the Apple iOS platform earlier this week.

The free-to-download Safety Wizard app, drawn directly from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Toolbox guidance offers SMEs a solution to help navigate a vast array of health and safety information.

It’s the first time a Toolbox guidance app has been developed using HSE website based information and as a result will offer SMEs the opportunity to access a treasure trove of data at the touch of a button.

The Safety Wizard app gives the user access to straightforward advice on the most common health and safety hazards and shows how SMEs can take practical steps to control the risks in their workplace. There is advice on working environments and on the most common causes of accidents with helpful dos and don’ts. There are sections on the most common hazards such as electricity, gas, manual handling and harmful substances as well as simple risk assessment tools.

Rob Mannion, RNF Digital Innovation Managing Director, said: “We are delighted that the app has had such an immediate impact and charted so high in the official iOS charts.

“It’s the first time that HSE’s Toolbox guidance has been available in this format and offers the user access to a rich seam of information designed to address their workplace health and safety needs. “

“The iOS version of the app has been entirely funded by RNF Digital Innovation and it’s great to see our investment pay off with such a high level of user engagement.

“We are looking now to develop an Android version of the Safety Wizard app and are exploring various funding opportunities to enable us to make this available in the near future.”

The app can be downloaded here

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