Can Wearable Tech Improve the Music Festival Experience?

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ClearHart Digital — the company behind the KillSwitch app that banishes ex-loves from your Facebook feed — is bringing its ethos to the outdoor music festival.

The company, along with partner Esurance, launched its NFC-enabled Insider Band on Aug. 11 at San Francisco’s Outside Lands music festival. With KillSwitch, “we were making breakups suck less,” says Clara de Soto, the company’s creative director. “Now we’re making staying connected at a giant festival suck less.”

See also: Eliminate Your Ex From Facebook With This Mobile App

Esurance and ClearHart set up eight 14-foot towers throughout Golden Gate Park, each a “secure beacon of connectivity,” with NFC-enabled Nexus 7 tablets mounted on each of the towers’ four sides. Prior to the festival, participants registered for a free wristband online, and then connected them to their Facebook accounts. Read more…

More about Facebook, Nfc, Wearable Tech, Entertainment, and Music

Tagstand Hits 1M Actions, Launches New Tag Writer To Bring NFC To The Mainstream

Screen shot 2012-06-29 at 12.57.39 PM

Google is making a serious push with NFC on Android. As we detailed last night, Android product management director Hugo Barra revealed yesterday that Google is now shipping 1 million NFC-equipped devices every week. Beyond Google Wallet, the company announced some cool new features to Android Beam at I/O on Wednesday, including giving users the option to share video through NFC or pair their phones to other NFC-enabled devices just by tapping it.

Last night, Google showcased Beam’s new functionality with two apps, Paper Camera and Tagstand’s Task Launcher. Y Combinator-backed Tagstand, in particular, has been on a mission to make NFC more of a mainstream technology and is starting to pick up steam as a result.

Tagstand co-founder Kulveer Taggar tells us that the startup saw a big jump in demand when the NFC-equipped Galaxy Nexus hit stores, so they rebuilt Task Launcher to include a bunch of new features — and a new interface — in March. Sales picked up almost immediately, and they went on to sell as many tags in March as they did during the entire month of June 2011 (when the app launched).

Since then, the growth has continued. Just a few days ago, Task Launcher passed a significant milestone: One million actions executed. To break that down, of the 1 million actions executed, users changed WiFi and Bluetooth settings 300,000 times, 176,000 applications were launched, phones were set to silent or vibrate 150,000 times, 12,000 songs were played, 10,000 alarms were set, and mobile hotspots were set up 8,000 times.

Initially, the app was offered on Google Play for $2, but earlier this week, Tagstand began offering the app for free to further accelerate growth, and which Taggar says has resulted in a 5-fold increase in the number of daily installs.

As for some background, in case all of those aforementioned actions confuse, Task Launcher lets users create and use NFC tags to automate tasks you perform in everyday life. Swipe your NFC-equipped phone near one of those tags and your phone will perform specific actions or reconfigure to particular settings once swiped.

Using Task Launcher, users can turn on Bluetooth with a swipe of their phone, for example, or turn off WiFi and call up their favorite music app when they scan a tag placed in their car — or even set their phone’s ringer to vibrate, dim the display and set an alarm once they’ve placed their phone on their night stand.

The possibilities for this kind of technology are many, so to demonstrate how it could work in the real world, Tagstand has been partnering with events, like one that Sarah covered in May. Attendees were given some digital goodie bags when they arrived at the event, including an NFC-enabled wristband.

As Sarah wrote, these bands allowed guests to “link up their NFC bracelet with their Facebook and Twitter accounts, enabling them to automatically upload the pictures they take at the party’s web-connected photo booths, they can tap to check in on Facebook Places, and they can tweet by tapping on the Library walls – all magically enabled via NFC.”

Taggar tells us that the bands amplified the event’s social engagement to 187K Facebook friends and 32K twitter followers, with 20 percent of the people with wristbands tweeting and 80 percent posting to Facebook during the event using NFC, turning the event organizers into happy campers.

Finding success at this event (and several since), Tagstand has since been developing another app, with which it aims to streamline the process of programming NFC tags for everyday users. While there’s a great tag-writing app by NXP already in Google Play, TagWriter doesn’t allow users to do bulk programming.

So, Taggar tells us that the team made that one of the key features of its new app — NFC Writer — to let users program multiple tags at once, rather than just one at a time.

The other key feature, the co-founder says, is its social focus, which makes it easy for users to create NFC-enabled Foursquare tags, for example. (And soon, Facebook tags.)

As a whole, if 9To5Mac is correct and the iPhone 5 launches later this year sporting an NFC chip and an antenna, the technology’s penetration is going to accelerate significantly.

As mentioned, Samsung already has several NFC-enabled phones, including the Galaxy S II and III and the Galaxy Nexus, but they hadn’t done much to put NFC to use. (The reason they introduced TecTiles, NFC stickers, earlier this month.)

So the apps being created by Tagstand (and JFDP Labs’ Paper Camera) give users the opportunity to have some geeky fun with their NFC phones and start making the most out of the technology.

For more, find Tagstand at home here.

NFC Cometh? 1M Android NFC Devices Shipping Each Week, And Prototypes Show iPhone 5 Is Next

nfc_android_320x320

Google I/O is in full swing, and stories have been pouring out at a fairly steady pace: Tony Stark Sergey finally demoed Google Glass, Google Drive passed 10 million users and is available on iOS, and we all got a look at Jelly Bean — to name a few.

Yet, overshadowed and buried in lengthy liveblogs is one piece of news that deserves some more attention — and it’s all about NFC. During yesterday’s keynote, Hugo Barra, the director of Android product management, revealed that Google is now shipping 1 million NFC-enabled Android devices every week. That’s pretty significant.

For some context, the company said that 400 million Android devices have now been activated, with activations currently flying in at a rate of 1 million per day. This means that phones with NFC built in represent nearly 15 percent of all new Android devices.

As a result, Android Beam, which was introduced with Ice Cream Sandwich, is getting some cool new features, including the ability to share video by way of NFC as well as the chance to pair phones to other devices just by tapping it. That’s pretty big, as it seems that, in spite of the arguments against NFC, the technology seems to be making it into a not-so-insignificant number of devices people buy every day.

On the flip side, as Jay (and many other experts) remind us that, media chatter notwithstanding, NFC technology likely isn’t on the brink of ubiquity — that in fact it’s still four or five years from reaching critical mass.

This has been the general consensus for awhile now, and probably still holds. Unfortunately, despite great effort to the contrary, I can’t see into the future. However, it’s probably safe to say that Google’s disclosure is a prime indication that things could be changing far more rapidly than many had expected.

After all, Nokia recently launched its first Windows-based NFC phone, along with Orange, and Foursquare added NFC support to its Android app, to name a few recent examples.

But the tipping point for NFC may be on an accelerated timeline if, on top of Google’s NFC Android shipments, the recent rumors swirling around Apple’s plans for the iPhone 5 prove to be true. 9To5Mac reported earlier this week that it had managed to get its hands on some iPhone 5 prototypes, which apparently reveal that the new phone will include an NFC chip and antenna.

Obviously, as 9To5 points out, the implications of this would be pretty huge, setting Apple up to launch its own mobile payment competitor to Google Wallet and Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 feature and give iOS users an easy way to share files between devices.

If come October, when Apple is expected to reveal the new iPhone 5, it has NFC built-in, and Google continues shipping NFC-enabled Android phones at its current rate, that means that the major phones consumers will be buying will have this technology. As Jim Peters told 9To5, retailers might want to get ready.

Image Credit: Robupupu

Announcing The 2011 Crunchies Finalists And Tickets On Sale Now

Crunchie Award photo by Susan Hobbs

The nominations have been tabulated and the votes are in. Over 300,000 nominations were calculated across 20 categories. Along with our partners GigaOm and VentureBeat, we are very proud to announce the finalists for 2011′s best in technology. Voting begins now.

For 2011, we’ve added some new categories. Best Location App, Best Cloud Services and Biggest Social Impact join the Crunchies ranks this year. You’ll also find Best Social App, the NYC-dominated category of Best Shopping App, Best New Startup and the year’s best VC’s and Angel Investors. Newcomers like TaskRabbit’s Leah Busque and Keith Rabois for his angel investments (Airbnb, LinkedIn, Yammer, Path, YouTube) made the list of finalists, as well as industry favorites such as Marc Andreessen, Jack Dorsey, Mark Pincus and Ron Conway.

There are some pretty good match-ups this year. Google+ is up against Facebook Timeline for Best Social App, along with the New New Twitter, Instagram, and Path 2.0). The Kindle Fire is competing with the iPad 2 for Best New Device. And Pinterest, Turntable.fm, Nest, Fab, and Codecademy are all vying for Best New Startup (even though two of those were complete pivots). LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman is up for Angel of the Year. His seed investment in Zynga is worth 160 times what he paid for it. But AngelList founders Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi are also finalists in the category for helping to democratize angel investing, along with Conway, Rabois, Y Combinator’s Paul Graham, and Kevin Rose (who has a killer portfolio that includes Twitter, Foursquare, Zynga, and Square). Who will win?

Everyone is eligible and encouraged to vote. The rules state that you may vote once per day, per award category, until voting closes on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 11:59pm PST. There are 20 award categories open for voting, recognizing the top accomplishments across a variety of fields and roles. If you are one of the finalists, create a badge and get your community excited about this honor and get them to vote for you. Winners will be announced on January 31, live at the Crunchies.

In addition to today’s announcement of the Finalists, we are happy to release our next batch of tickets through Eventbrite. The release begins now, so act fast and get them while you can.

Here are your Finalists:

Best Technology Achievement (2010 winner: Google Self Driving Cars)
Lytro
NFC
OnLive
Siri
Tesla Flat Pack Battery

Best Social Application (2010 winner: DailyBooth)
Facebook Timeline
Instagram
Google+
The New New Twitter
Path 2.0

Best Shopping Application (2010 winner: Groupon)
Birchbox
Fab
Gilt Groupe
Lot18
Warby Parker

Best Mobile Application (2010 winner: Google Mobile Maps for Android)
Evernote
Flipboard
Pandora
Spotify
Square
TaskRabbit

Best Location Application (New category for 2011)
Airbnb
Foursquare
Grindr
RunKeeper
Uber

Best Tablet Application (2010 winner: Flipboard)
djay
Eventbrite At the Door
Fotopedia
GarageBand
Netflix
StumbleUpon

Best Design (2010 winner: gogobot)
Gojee
Orchestra
Path 2.0
Pinterest
Quora

Best Bootstrapped Startup (2010 winner: addmired)
Github
Imgur
Instapaper
Onesheet
Tap Tap Tap (Camera+)

Best Cloud Service (New category for 2011)
Asana
Box
CloudFlare
Dropbox
Okta
Twilio

Best International Startup (2010 winner: Viki)
Badoo
Klarna
Peixe Urbano
Rovio
SoundCloud
Wonga

Best Clean Tech Startup (2010 winner: SolarCity)
Alta Energy
Array Power
EcoATM
EcoMotors
Hara

Best New Device (2010 winner: iPad)
Galaxy Nexus
iPad 2
iPhone 4S
Kindle Fire
Nest

Best Time Sink (2010 winner: Cityville)
Modern Warfare 3
Quora
Skyrim
Turntable.fm
Words With Friends

Biggest Social Impact (New category for 2011)
Charity: Water
Khan Academy
Kickstarter
Practice Fusion
Twitter

Angel of the Year (2010 winner: Paul Graham)
Ron Conway
Paul Graham
Reid Hoffman
Keith Rabois
Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi (AngelList)
Kevin Rose

VC of the Year (2010 winner: Yuri Milner)
Marc Andreessen & Ben Horowitz
Matt Cohler
Vinod Khosla
Aileen Lee
Yuri Milner
David Sze

Founder of the Year (2010 winner: Mark Pincus)
Leah Busque (Task Rabbit)
Brian Chesky (Airbnb)
Jack Dorsey (Square, Twitter)
Susan Feldman & Ali Pincus (One Kings Lane)
Drew Houston (Dropbox)

CEO of the Year (2010 winner: Andrew Mason)
Dick Costolo (Twitter)
Daniel Ek (Spotify)
Phil Libin (Evernote)
Mark Pincus (Zynga)
Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn)

Best New Startup of 2011 (2010 winner: Quora)
Codecademy
Fab
Nest
Pinterest
Turntable.fm

Best Overall Startup of 2011 (2010 winner: Twitter)
Dropbox
Instagram
Gilt Groupe
Spotify
Square
Tumblr

5th Annual Crunchies Awards
Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA

7:30pm – midnight – Awards Ceremony and After Party
A night of celebration with festive attire.

Our sponsors help make the Crunchies happen, if you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities during the ceremony or after-party, please contact Jeanne Logozzo at jeanne@techcrunch.com.

For press credentials, please fill out this request form and confirmations will be sent separately via email.

Announcing The 2011 Crunchies Finalists And Tickets On Sale Now

Crunchie Award photo by Susan Hobbs

The nominations have been tabulated and the votes are in. Over 300,000 nominations were calculated across 20 categories. Along with our partners GigaOm and VentureBeat, we are very proud to announce the finalists for 2011′s best in technology. Voting begins now.

For 2011, we’ve added some new categories. Best Location App, Best Cloud Services and Biggest Social Impact join the Crunchies ranks this year. You’ll also find Best Social App, the NYC-dominated category of Best Shopping App, Best New Startup and the year’s best VC’s and Angel Investors. Newcomers like TaskRabbit’s Leah Busque and Keith Rabois for his angel investments (Airbnb, LinkedIn, Yammer, Path, YouTube) made the list of finalists, as well as industry favorites such as Marc Andreessen, Jack Dorsey, Mark Pincus and Ron Conway.

There are some pretty good match-ups this year. Google+ is up against Facebook Timeline for Best Social App, along with the New New Twitter, Instagram, and Path 2.0). The Kindle Fire is competing with the iPad 2 for Best New Device. And Pinterest, Turntable.fm, Nest, Fab, and Codecademy are all vying for Best New Startup (even though two of those were complete pivots). LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman is up for Angel of the Year. His seed investment in Zynga is worth 160 times what he paid for it. But AngelList founders Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi are also finalists in the category for helping to democratize angel investing, along with Conway, Rabois, Y Combinator’s Paul Graham, and Kevin Rose (who has a killer portfolio that includes Twitter, Foursquare, Zynga, and Square). Who will win?

Everyone is eligible and encouraged to vote. The rules state that you may vote once per day, per award category, until voting closes on Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 11:59pm PST. There are 20 award categories open for voting, recognizing the top accomplishments across a variety of fields and roles. If you are one of the finalists, create a badge and get your community excited about this honor and get them to vote for you. Winners will be announced on January 31, live at the Crunchies.

In addition to today’s announcement of the Finalists, we are happy to release our next batch of tickets through Eventbrite. The release begins now, so act fast and get them while you can.

Here are your Finalists:

Best Technology Achievement (2010 winner: Google Self Driving Cars)
Lytro
NFC
OnLive
Siri
Tesla Flat Pack Battery

Best Social Application (2010 winner: DailyBooth)
Facebook Timeline
Instagram
Google+
The New New Twitter
Path 2.0

Best Shopping Application (2010 winner: Groupon)
Birchbox
Fab
Gilt Groupe
Lot18
Warby Parker

Best Mobile Application (2010 winner: Google Mobile Maps for Android)
Evernote
Flipboard
Pandora
Spotify
Square
TaskRabbit

Best Location Application (New category for 2011)
Airbnb
Foursquare
Grindr
RunKeeper
Uber

Best Tablet Application (2010 winner: Flipboard)
djay
Eventbrite At the Door
Fotopedia
GarageBand
Netflix
StumbleUpon

Best Design (2010 winner: gogobot)
Gojee
Orchestra
Path 2.0
Pinterest
Quora

Best Bootstrapped Startup (2010 winner: addmired)
Github
Imgur
Instapaper
Onesheet
Tap Tap Tap (Camera+)

Best Cloud Service (New category for 2011)
Asana
Box
CloudFlare
Dropbox
Okta
Twilio

Best International Startup (2010 winner: Viki)
Badoo
Klarna
Peixe Urbano
Rovio
SoundCloud
Wonga

Best Clean Tech Startup (2010 winner: SolarCity)
Alta Energy
Array Power
EcoATM
EcoMotors
Hara

Best New Device (2010 winner: iPad)
Galaxy Nexus
iPad 2
iPhone 4S
Kindle Fire
Nest

Best Time Sink (2010 winner: Cityville)
Modern Warfare 3
Quora
Skyrim
Turntable.fm
Words With Friends

Biggest Social Impact (New category for 2011)
Charity: Water
Khan Academy
Kickstarter
Practice Fusion
Twitter

Angel of the Year (2010 winner: Paul Graham)
Ron Conway
Paul Graham
Reid Hoffman
Keith Rabois
Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi (AngelList)
Kevin Rose

VC of the Year (2010 winner: Yuri Milner)
Marc Andreessen & Ben Horowitz
Matt Cohler
Vinod Khosla
Aileen Lee
Yuri Milner
David Sze

Founder of the Year (2010 winner: Mark Pincus)
Leah Busque (Task Rabbit)
Brian Chesky (Airbnb)
Jack Dorsey (Square, Twitter)
Susan Feldman & Ali Pincus (One Kings Lane)
Drew Houston (Dropbox)

CEO of the Year (2010 winner: Andrew Mason)
Dick Costolo (Twitter)
Daniel Ek (Spotify)
Phil Libin (Evernote)
Mark Pincus (Zynga)
Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn)

Best New Startup of 2011 (2010 winner: Quora)
Codecademy
Fab
Nest
Pinterest
Turntable.fm

Best Overall Startup of 2011 (2010 winner: Twitter)
Dropbox
Instagram
Gilt Groupe
Spotify
Square
Tumblr

5th Annual Crunchies Awards
Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA

7:30pm – midnight – Awards Ceremony and After Party
A night of celebration with festive attire.

Our sponsors help make the Crunchies happen, if you are interested in learning more about sponsorship opportunities during the ceremony or after-party, please contact Jeanne Logozzo at jeanne@techcrunch.com.

For press credentials, please fill out this request form and confirmations will be sent separately via email.

Google Wallet Likely Launching Tomorrow

IMAG0037

Last week, Google posted an awesome teaser video for Google Wallet featuring George Costanza. The implication: Google Wallet would finally be launching soon. Now we think we know when: tomorrow.

As you can see in the above image, documentation is being sent around to partners stating a September 19 launch day. We’ve heard from others that this is accurate. And it also lines up nicely with NFC World Congress, which kicks off tomorrow in the French Riviera. Google is not listed as a speaker or exhibitor at the event, but their main partner MasterCard is the official sponsor.

Back in May when Google Wallet and Offers were initially unveiled, Google stated that field trials for Wallet would beging immediately and that an official launch would come this summer. Initial reports pointed towards a September 1 launch. Technically, summer lasts until September 22, so it looks like Google will hit their deadline with a few days to spare.

While this will be the official launch, the product itself will likely still be quite limited. The only officially compatible phone is the Nexus S 4G, which is only available on Sprint in the U.S. Google has an NFC sticker product to bring tap-and-pay to other phones, but it’s not clear if that will be ready at launch or not. Hardware to enable the payments on the merchant end is also needed. And again, MasterCard has been the only official partner on the credit card side of things so far. Perhaps Google will have more to say on that tomorrow. But the above documentation still points to PayPass-enabled Citi MasterCards as the only way to use the service for now.

It also makes sense for Google to get Wallet out there now before their next flagship Android phone, the Nexus Prime, launches next month. It too will have NFC capabilities built in and will bring the Wallet functionality to the much larger Verizon customer base.



Company:
Google
Website:
google.com
Launch Date:
July 9, 1998
IPO:

NASDAQ:GOOG

Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps and YouTube. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing them with a rich source of information….

Learn more

Isis: AT&T, Verizon, And T-Mobile’s $100 Million Gamble In Mobile Payments

isis

NFC will be ubiquitous one day, but we still have quite a ways to go. Unlike other smartphone features, this requires adoption on a huge scale from just about everyone, which will definitely take a while. But we are getting closer.

While Sprint fiddles with its Google Wallet, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile have reportedly made plans to invest upwards of $100 million in their joint-venture mobile payments network called Isis. Can anyone else smell the competition simmering?

According to Bloomberg, the carriers may invest way more than that depending on how much traction they can get out of banks and merchants. Isis already has the support of a major player in commerce: Visa. However, Google Wallet has its own big name credit card company in MasterCard.

The two mobile payments networks also have “offers” services, which send coupons to users that they can save and redeem with their phone. At least in the case of Isis, the network will monetize the offers by charging marketers a fee to send out coupons to user’s mobile phones.

The carriers had originally planned to launch Isis around mid-2012, but since Google (and Sprint) seems to be on a faster track in terms of setting up merchants to use the service, Isis may pick up the pace. In fact, it had better hurry, as the mobile payments industry is expected to generate $240 billion by this year alone, according to Juniper Research. That number is only expected to triple in the next five years.



Company:
VERIZON
IPO:

VZ

Verizon Communications Inc. delivers broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers. Verizon Wireless operates America’s largest wireless network that…

Learn more



Company:
T-MOBILE
IPO:

DT

T-Mobile is a mobile telephone operator headquartered in Bonn, Germany. It is a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. T-Mobile has 101 million subscribers making it the worlds sixth largest mobile…

Learn more

Whoops: NFC Partner Spoils Google’s Surprise Tomorrow. ViVOtech One Partner. Citibank Too?

Google is holding an event tomorrow in New York City. While everyone seems to be aware that it’s a partner event to announce the NFC strategy for their Android phones, Google has refused to confirm it. Well, they don’t have to. One of their partners just did.

We just got an email from the PR firm representing ViVOtech, wondering if we were going to the Google event tomorrow. They try to talk vaguely about ”Google’s latest innovations”, but that doesn’t matter. Just look at what ViVOtech does. They make NFC software.

From their own site:

ViVOtech near field communication (NFC) software and systems enable rich mobile commerce solutions for in-store payment, loyalty, marketing, and merchandising.

Whoops.

ViVOtech’s PR people go on to note that they “worked closely” with Google and “has provided ViVOtech technologies to enrich Google upcoming ‘latest innovations’”

Okay then. There’s one partner. An NFC one. The others? Apparently Sprint (which carries the Nexus S) and we’re hearing perhaps Citibank for the money side of things (Erick asked Google about it on stage today — no comment). Tune in for more tomorrow.

Google Commerce Chief: We’re Making A Huge Bet On NFC As A Company


Today, at TechCrunch Disrupt, editor Erick Schonfeld took the stage to interview Alex Rampell, TrialPay; Stephanie Tilenius, VP of Google Commerce and Payments, and Lewis Gersh, Metamorphic Partners; addressing online to offline mobile commerce. The panel was particularly interesting considering Google’s reported announcement regarding its near field communications and mobile payments service announcement this Thursday.

When asked about NFC and its potential, Tilenius said that the technology is an important opportunity for Android, telling the audience, “we’re making a big bet on it as a company. There is a lot of potential there.”

She added that there is a ton of activity around NFC in international markets, giving the example of a successful trial of the technology that Starbucks ran in London.

When Erick asked for confirmation of Google’s partnership with Citibank for its NFC platform, Tilenius declined to reveal any in-depth details but said it would be a partner announcement around mobile and local commerce.

More Proof Of A Google NFC Announcement: A Curious YouTube Live Event Page

A couple of days ago, we got a tip pointing us to a YouTube page with a bit of interesting information. On Google’s official account there was a placeholder page for a “Google Press Conference”. We we reached out to Google about this, they said they were checking into it, and the page immediately was taken down (but not before we snagged a screenshot, naturally). Weird.

Well, weird until the news broke on Bloomberg today that Google is planning to unveil a mobile payment service on Thursday. The announcement is expected to involve the NFC chips built into the Nexus S.

The reason we believe the accidentally live YouTube page was about the NFC announcement is because the dates line up. In the space where the video would normally be, the screen read: “This live event will start in 78 hours. Please come back later.” Below that, it read “Streamed live on May 26, 2011.”

And Google only tends to do live streams when they have something really big to announce.

Bloomberg says that members of the press have been sent invitations to this event in New York City. But we haven’t gotten one. Nor does it seem like others have yet. And Google isn’t talking.

But Stephanie Tilenius, Google’s head of commerce and payments, will be onstage with us tomorrow at TechCrunch Disrupt. We’ll be sure to bring it up.

Update: And sure enough, I post and Google reaches out to invite us to the event! They won’t comment on if it’s NFC-related but there is an event in their NYC office from 12-2 on Thursday. We’ll be covering it.

[thanks Michael]

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