NFC news in brief
5 March 2014, 14:19
Poland's Alior Bank has joined Eurobank, Getin Bank, Noble Bank, Raiffeisen Polbank and mBank in offering T-Mobile's MyWallet NFC payments service to its customers. The service can be used to make payments with an Alior debit or credit card at any of the 140,000 contactless point-of-sale terminals in the country.
28 February 2014, 14:15
A range of "peel and stick" NFC antennas has been introduced by component supplier Abracon. Four antenna sizes are available in the new ANFCA range now, ranging from 25x15mm up to 40x60mm, with additional shapes and sizes suitable for different applications due to be added in the future. Custom designs are also available.
27 February 2014, 14:32
Hotels, bars, pubs and restaurants listed on Tripadvisor can now let customers leave reviews with a tap of their NFC phone, using a new service from Wooshping that connects customers directly to the venue's Tripadvisor page. A range of posters, table tents, stickers and keyfobs can be used to promote the service. QR codes can also be offered for those without an NFC phone.
27 February 2014, 11:18
Bangalore-based NFC payments provider iKaaz is taking its technology to Nigeria, in partnership with First City Monument Bank. The company, founded by former Nokia Money employees, offers an mPOS device, mobile wallet and NFC stickers that are tied to the customer's bank account. SMS-based payments are also supported.
27 February 2014, 11:11
Samsung Electronics has unveiled a third generation of its NFC controller offering at Mobile World Congress. The new chip is the first NFC controller to use the company's 45nm embedded flash technology, designed to enable easy firmware updates and low power consumption. The solution is now being sampled and will enter mass production in the second quarter of 2014.
27 February 2014, 11:04
NXP is demonstrating two reference designs that combine Qi wireless charging and NFC functionality at MWC 14. "The next generation of Qi wireless charging pads with NFC will enable users to stream music to their Bluetooth speakers and deliver useful content to their mobile devices as they are charging — all the while economizing on overall power consumption," says NXP's Rick Dumont.
26 February 2014, 12:38
Smartrac's widely used BullsEye, Midas and Circus NFC tags are now available with NXP's latest generation Ntag213 chips built in. The new Ntag213 NFC tags come with 144 bytes of user memory with password protection and are compatible with NFC Forum Type 2 tag and ISO/IEC14443 Type A standards. They also offer UID mirroring, enabling every tag to be easily identified as unique without requiring users to encode tags with serial numbers.
25 February 2014, 14:18
Alpha Bank and Vodafone have partnered with Visa and First Data to conduct the first NFC payments pilot in Greece. The service is being tested with a select group of consumers using Samsung Galaxy Mini 2 and Samsung Galaxy SIII devices containing a Vodafone SIM that stores their Alpha Bank Enter Visa debit card.
24 February 2014, 20:33
HTC's Desire 816, a mid-range Android smartphone unveiled at MWC 2014, is set to come in both NFC and non-NFC versions. "It's listed as an optional feature in the official spec sheet, so it will likely vary carrier by carrier, country by country," HTC told NFC World.
24 February 2014, 16:33
US-based wireless test solutions provider LitePoint has introduced a test system designed to measure and verify the physical layer performance of NFC devices in a high-volume manufacturing environment. "The IQnfc provides quantitative NFC physical layer operation data, allowing the manufacturer to measure NFC device performance, ensure unit-to-unit consistency and ultimately deliver a quality user experience," says LitePoint's Curt Schmidek.
24 February 2014, 14:28
Sony and Gemalto are working together to add Sony FeliCa and NFC functionality to Gemalto microSD cards. "Incorporating a contactless IC and an antenna, Gemalto's FeliCa/NFC equipped microSD cards will enable access to contactless card services simply by being inserted into mobile handsets and smartphones, including non-NFC handsets," says Sony.
24 February 2014, 13:02
Accenture has introduced a mobile wallet platform that supports payments in stores via both NFC and QR as well as peer-to-peer payments, transport, loyalty and gift cards. The platform can also automatically suggest which of a range of offers should be presented to a particular customer when they enter the perimeter of a geo-fenced store or move within range of a Bluetooth LE beacon.
24 February 2014, 12:49
An NFC test lab has been opened in Bangalore, India by Tech Mahindra. The lab meets the NFC Forum's first wave testing requirements and "also has the infrastructure to meet the upcoming wave two test requirements of the Forum."
24 February 2014, 11:34
NXP has teamed up with Microsoft, Lenovo and Identive to run an NFC Windows Application Contest. Cash prizes totalling US$22,500 are on offer, plus NFC development kits and US$100 Amazon vouchers. The free-to-enter competition is a "unique opportunity to learn about NFC on Windows 8 and 8.1, propose application ideas and receive everything needed to prototype it," says NXP.
24 February 2014, 10:14
Taiwan Mobile has introduced an NFC bracelet that can be used to assist the elderly, and in particular those suffering from Alzheimer's disease, should they get lost. When someone comes across a lost person wearing one of the smart wristbands, they simply touch the bracelet to their smartphone to send an alert containing the ID of the bracelet and their GPS location to a pre-set list of family, friends and relevant authorities.
24 February 2014, 09:52
MasterCard has agreed to acquire NFC technology provider C-Sam. "C-Sam's on-device application and back-end infrastructure will aid development efforts to enable consumers to use MasterPass both in-store and online across multiple communications technologies, including NFC, QR, barcodes and remote checkout," says MasterCard. C-Sam's NFC customers include DNP, Eftpos Australia, Isis, Starhub and TrustNordics.
19 February 2014, 14:02
Nokia has introduced bright plastic tags that can be attached to a Lumia smartphone owner's keys, bag, wallet and other valuables and emit "a loud tone" when they become separated from the phone. Additionally, an app can pinpoint the last place up to four paired Treasure Tags were "seen" on a map. The 30mm by 30mm by 10mm tags cost US$29.90 each, have a six month battery life and can be paired with a smartphone via either NFC or Bluetooth LE.
18 February 2014, 14:01
Sony has added four cameras with NFC functionality to its range. The devices include the Alpha 6000, a 24.3 megapixel camera boasting "the quickest autofocus performance of any interchangeable lens digital camera" and three additions to its Cybershot line-up — the 20.4 megapixel 30x zoom HX60, the 18.2 megapixel 20x WX350 and the 18.2 megapixel 10x WX220.
17 February 2014, 15:39
US fuel and convenience store chain Maverik will start accepting Isis mobile payments at the pump this month, using Wayne Tap NFC/Contactless readers. Wayne will retrofit existing dispensers and supply new ones at 55 of Maverik's 250 outlets. Plans call for support for loyalty rewards to be added in the future.
17 February 2014, 14:32
Camera maker Canon has added the NFC-enabled Powershot SX700 HS digital camera to its line of three NFC cameras announced at CES 2014. The NFC capability allows users to transfer images from the camera to their Android phone or tablet by pressing the Mobile Device Connect button and then tapping the devices together.