Jalkanen is an 8 year veteran of Nokia where he earned the unofficial title of the Godfather of NFC because of his leading role in developing the burgeoning wireless technology. He’s also been a long-term advocate of the Internet of Things meme in more general terms.
Thinglink, a Finnish born company founded by CEO Ulla-Maaria Engeström, which like many European startups is actually registered in Silicon Valley, is currently in private Beta. The service appears to have gone through a major change since its conception too, starting life by defining a new standard for identifying both virtual and physical objects and linking them to information on the Internet, but now operates as a sort of social catalogue that enables designers, brands, and consumers to identify and converse around products. It’s still based on the Thinglink identifier standard though and it’s here where Jalkanen appears to fit in.
Writing on his blog he says that Thinglink will:
… be a fertile ground to grow some seeds of fresh thought and opportunity. We’ll be doing some really exciting stuff, and hopefully knock over a few established thoughts while doing so. As the “Godfather of NFC” (as I am sometimes jokingly referred as) at Nokia I’ve had my hand in making a part of the Internet of Things to go live, and I ain’t done yet.
If social networks were first about people, and now include physical places with the emergence of location-based social networking, as the Internet of Things becomes more of a reality it’s inevitable that physical products will be next. Or at least that’s what Thinglink’s latest hire seems to be banking on.