A new standalone NFC device from Toppan Printing is set to go into mass production next year with a target price of under US$25. Shaped like a thick bank card and incorporating a display and input keys, it can store and display prepaid funds, coupons, loyalty membership details, transport and entertainment tickets and advertising.
Japanese card and printing technology supplier Toppan Printing has unveiled a prototype of a low cost, dedicated NFC device designed to meet the needs of a wide range of potential NFC service providers including retailers, mobile marketers, transport operators, entertainment venues and prepaid card issuers.
The new device is the shape of a thick (3.9mm) bank card and can be used to display and store coupons, tickets, prepaid funds, adverts and membership of loyalty programmes — without the need for a mobile network connection. It includes a 2.2inch 320 by 240 pixel colour liquid crystal display and control keys that enable the user to switch between a number of screens. The device is fully NFC compliant and is compatible with ISO 14443 Type A and B contactless card systems as well as Sony's FeliCa technology.
The current version of the device is able to interact with contactless point-of-sale terminals in stores and outlets and can be connected to a consumer's PC via an NFC reader in order to download coupons, top up prepaid accounts and perform other functions over the internet.
Future developments will include the addition of near field communication tag reading capabilities, a reduction in the thickness of the device, improved battery life (the device uses replaceable batteries) and the ability to download and display video content.
Mass production of the device is due to begin during 2011 and, while final pricing is yet to be set, Toppan has told NFC World that it is aiming to make it available for under ¥2,000 (US$24.60 approx) per unit with the number of functions supported by the device and the exact cost depending on the type of chip — FeliCa, Mifare or multi-function — that drives the device.