What is TapCare? And who?

TapCare is promoting an interesting idea – that it is possible to use Near Field Communication (NFC) tags with smartphones and tablets as a simple way of alerting the carers (caregivers) of people living independently to changes in their care needs. However, the simplicity message is undermined by observations such as “Near Field Communication tags are complicated”. The whole site is a bit of a marketing nightmare, starting with the name which, in the UK, will be interpreted as ‘How to take care of taps’ (= ‘faucets’) Set up complexity aside, the essential problem is that the people who could benefit are unlikely to be able to manage even such a ‘simple’ system and there is too much scope for human error. What’s more, although the items on the site are posted by an Alastair Somerville and has an offer to help people set up a system, the there is no contact information that this editor could find. [See comments for update] Tapcare website.

6 thoughts on “What is TapCare? And who?

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for comments on TapCare.

    Website has both Twitter @TapCare and email address TapCareShare@gmail on first page at bottom. Also all contact details are in the TapCare in a minute video.

    NFC is complicated but what we are communicating that the benefits are very clear and use is not that difficult. I take your criticism as correct.

    Brandname, honestly, we do use the word Tap to mean tapping things in UK. Did consider other names but the straightforward point of Tap & Care seemed more important.

    TapCare is really only a few weeks old so I am trying to use website to publicise and actually think thru how best to use the technology.

    As I discuss, we use it in care of mother in law at our own home.

    In terms of use, I’d recommend it is used with family or carer assistance to set up . There is complexity in that, but balanced against long term user simplicity of use.

    Errors are fairly easy to pick up and long term has shown little problem here.

    Please contact me if you’d like a chat.

  2. Hi Alastair,

    Many thanks for responding so promptly, and I see you have already added a ‘Contact’ page. I always take responsiveness as a good sign.

    I do appreciate that it is difficult to get an unambiguous brand name and to get all the elements on a site working to communicate clearly. It takes time and feedback. We are all learning, all the time.

    Good luck,


  3. There are sure to be many care and support applications for smartphones features if only we could get away from the idea that these devices are only for younger people. The use of the accelerometer, the GPS system and the thermometer all have dozens of mCare applications.
    I am confident that those with the technical skills and imagination coupled with an ability to understand what frail and otherwise dependent people want and need will overcome the complexities to come up with some nifty uses of NFC. It doesn’t need to be called anything other than a practical application of mCare.

  4. Whilst I agree whole heartedly with Kevin’s point around the challenge of engagement and the use of smart phones and emerging technologies. I also agree that the potential will be driven by small innovative companies and indeed individuals pushing against the boundaries and accepted norms. However whatever we call it the technologies being promoted do need to be easily understood and in a sense demystified. Like Alistair I think NFC has enormous potential in the care market place. I was therefore a little disheartened on visiting the site as someone familiar with the technology to be presented with the ‘walk through’ examples (screen shots from a generic app) that did little to contextualise, inform, reassure or even demonstrate the potential of the ‘offer’.

    I note that TapCare is new to market and still finding its legs. I do hope they are successful and able to carve out a niche for themselves. We need more entrepreneurial activity and disruption to the generic offer in the market place to stimulate and grow the massive potential of mCare for both users and carers

  5. [quote]TapCare is really only a few weeks old so I am trying to use website to publicise and actually think thru how best to use the technology. [/quote]

    @Alastair – I completely get why you want to gain publicity and I have been playing with these tags at a basic level so I also completely get why you think there is a market there.

    BUT, from the perspective of someone else working through planning and developing a new (and I hope innovative) business, I think there are some things you need to do away from the public eye – such as actually thinking through how best to use the technology.

    It is also great to see your responsiveness to feedback, but I do find the website a little naive in it’s presentation – even blog based websites can readily be professionally styled at low cost. The diagram you have added with the ovals with text in I found quite difficult to read and I suspect it wouldn’t pass an accessibility assessment on the site – crucial for the market you want to be in.

    Wishing you well with the business and well done on your bravery for getting on with it so publicly (I will wimp it out in the backroom for a wee bit longer!)

  6. I like it.
    It needs to be a whole product. Packaged together with some prices attached otherwise it is just another great idea that will get swallowed by the bigger guns and added into their portfolio.
    Others I have worked with have similar products – just looking for the right outlet – e.g. cloud stuff with 3 mile ranges on sensors which again is great but if you don’t know your market it just looks good on the screen in front of you.

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