Microsoft is looking to tap into the burgeoning mobile wallet arena by hosting three week-long developer and designer events at its ultra-hip Modern Jago facility in London's Shoreditch.
Branded the Digital Wallet Foundry, the three separate events in February, March and April, will focus on identity, payments and loyalty, respectively. Shoreditch in the East End of London is considered the capital's hotspot for finding young creative and development talent.
Participation at the Digital Wallet Foundry is open to individual developers and start ups, or to teams working within banks, or at established software vendors.
The format of each week-long event provides a kick off day at Modern Jago to gain insight from payments and identity experts, telcos, banks and mobile device manufacturers. Then participants spend the remainder of the week developing their app idea, either at their own offices, or while hanging out at Modern Jago, where technical experts will be on hand to help them.
Richard Peers, one of the architects behind this initiative at Microsoft explains: "We'll have experts on hand throughout the week to explain some of our own technologies in this area, and to help developers who may be new to services like Windows Azure, to find their way around the resources we are making available to them."
He insists that participants won't restricted in their choice of technology for whatever app or project may inspire them and will be free to follow their own creative muse.
Says Peers: "We don't want to put any boundaries around their ideas."
At the end of the week, the panel of experts reconvenes to pick a winner from among the participants who complete an app, or a tool or other proof of concept.
As the media partner to the Digital Wallet Foundry, Finextra Research will be on hand to cover the event, reporting first on the discussions and opinions exchanged around themes on identity on the kick off day, Monday 18 February. The speakers line-up includes established industry experts Dave Birch and James Varga exploring aspects of identity, and additional speakers are attending from banks, including Tesco Bank, to put forward a bank's perspectives on identity issues and challenges.