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Archive: News in brief

Contactless cards up 41%

November 19th, 2013

Some 930m contactless smart cards will be shipped in 2013, an increase of 41% on 2012, Eurosmart has reported at Cartes 2013. The smart security industry trade body expects around 250m NFC secure elements to ship this year.

Wirecard offers single tap coupons

November 19th, 2013

Payment technology provider Wirecard has introduced NFC Single Tap, a service that enables customers to use an NFC phone to pay for goods, redeem a voucher and pick up loyalty points all in a one tap. The service is available to retailers as an add-on to the company’s white label issuing programmes and mobile payment applications.

ABnote picks OTI’s Wave

November 19th, 2013

ABnote is to offer On Track Innovations’ Wave NFC add-on device as an option with its NFC mobile wallet offering. ABnote is to demonstrate the solution, which can be used for payments, healthcare, transit, access control, and loyalty card applications, at the Cartes show this week.

UL offers GSMA NFC testing

November 19th, 2013

UL is now able to test NFC functionality for mobile network operators and handset manufacturers in accordance with the GSMA’s newly developed GSMA Handset Test Book (PDF). The test book allows companies to “know what the core operator requirements are, how to test them, and where to test them,” says the GSMA’s Pierre Combelles.

Identive to sell off NFC platform

November 19th, 2013

Identive is to seeking a buyer for its Tagtrail NFC tag platform as part of a strategy to simplify its “organisational architecture”. The company will continue to offer NFC tags.

GP approves NFC test suite

November 19th, 2013

An SWP & HCI compliance test suite from Galitt and Keolabs has been qualified by standards organisation GlobalPlatform. The NFC testing suite can be used to “verify the compliance of host controller interface and SHDLC layers of SIM cards that implement a SWP connection,” says Galitt.

Nexperts to demo HCE

November 19th, 2013

NFC specialist Nexperts will demonstrate Host Card Emulation, Google’s recently announced feature for Android 4.4 ‘Kitkat’ that eliminates the need for a physical NFC secure element, at Cartes 2013. A contactless payment transaction will be shown on an existing NFC-enabled POS terminal using the new method.

Bluenio proposes connected card

November 19th, 2013

Startup Bluenio is raising funds on Kickstarter for a connected NFC card that links with the owner’s smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0 to enable a wide range of functions including two factor authentication, mobile keys and fitness tracking. The nio Card will come with 2GB of on-board storage, a USB rechargeable battery and a variety of sensors and will sound an alarm if the owner’s phone and card are separated.

Delta releases NFC data logger

November 19th, 2013

Technology developer Delta has launched Thor, an NFC data logger that includes an on-board temperature sensor that can take readings at configurable time interval of between 0.1s and ten hours. The NFC Forum Type 2 compliant transponder can store up to 28KB of readings and the data can then be transferred to an external device, such as an NFC phone, where the readings can be seen in list or graph form in an accompanying app.

Runners track scores with NFC

November 19th, 2013

NFC has been used by competitors in the interactive i-Love to Run event, held at Singapore’s Jurong Point Shopping Mall, to retrieve picture clues and pick up game points. The 36 teams tapped their NFC phones to a game marshal’s NFC card upon completion of each of six game stations to get their points. These were then uploaded to a server allowing the organiser to track each team’s score in real-time.

WP8 users get NFC card game

November 19th, 2013

Windows Phone 8 users can now download a free card game, similar to Top Trumps, that uses NFC as the main form of interaction. In NFC Cars two players tap their phones together to receive a deck of cards and the aim is to then outscore the other player by comparing a category displayed on a card, such as top speed. The comparison is executed by once again tapping the two devices together.

ST updates NFC SE

November 18th, 2013

STMicroelectronics has introduced the ST33G1M2, a secure microcontroller that can be used as an NFC secure element, either embedded into a mobile device or integrated into a SIM. “With its unique combination of support for NFC UICC and eSE applications and the entire Mifare portfolio, plus enhanced connectivity and large on-chip flash memory, this device dramatically extends opportunities for issuers to manage secure access to multiple services using the same card,” says ST’s Laurent Degauque.

Statue wafts fragrance with NFC

November 18th, 2013

A statue that emits a whiff of scent when an NFC phone is tapped to it has been installed in the French town of Grasse, a leading centre for the perfume industry. The statue, created by artist Marina Latta and students at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis’ MBDS department, also offers photos, African music and a video of Latta explaining the artistic style’s origins.

Xiaomi picks Micropross for testing

November 15th, 2013

China-based smartphone maker Xiaomi has chosen Micropross test equipment to validate the NFC interfaces in its future products. “Micropross’ expertise in the field of contactless interface testing is very famous on the market,” says Xiaomi’s Xisohui Pi.

Inside updates VaultIC tag

November 15th, 2013

Inside Secure has redesigned its dual-interface VaultIC 150/150D security module to include a new privacy mode which requires strong authentication to access its contents, complying with the ‘silent by design’ philosophy of the Internet of Things community. The chip, which comes in formats that include NFC tags, can be used to guard against counterfeiting and cloning and, with its field-detect capability and the 150D’s dual interfaces, can act as “a low-cost secure bridge for medical and communications equipment.”

Orange picks Wirecard for NFC

November 13th, 2013

Orange France is using technology from Wirecard to support the launch of its prepaid Orange Cash NFC payments service. Wirecard is providing the “technical platform needed to manage the mobile payment application”, subsidiary Wirecard Card Solutions will serve as the card issuer and Orange will also use Wirecard’s loyalty and couponing platform to provide a range of value-added services.

NFC stylus seeks backers

November 13th, 2013

Taiwanese design company 9006 Style is seeking US$8,000 to further the design and manufacturing of BeeStylus, a chunky stylus with built-in NFC. The US$35 device is ideal for quickly launching smartphone apps via NFC when needing to take down notes on the move, the inventors say, pointing out that tapping the stylus to the device could “open Evernote or other note-taking apps while talking on phone.”

MWC 2014 to get more NFC

November 13th, 2013

The NFC Experience at the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress will be expanded in 2014, allowing NFC phones to be used for venue access, catering and networking as well as “demonstrations of the latest NFC and products and services in applications including retail, online commerce and transport.” NFC badges stored on phones will again be used for quick access to the Fira Gran Via venue and, for the first time, to allow entry to the conference facilities in Hall 4.

Forum and Bluetooth SIG pair up

November 13th, 2013

The NFC Forum and the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), the trade association responsible for overseeing the Bluetooth specification and brand, have signed an agreement that will see the two organisations work more closely to enhance interoperability between the two technologies via a formal liaison relationship. The two groups have previously collaborated on a developers’ guide to initiating Bluetooth pairing with NFC.

FIME to test VMPA on SEs

November 13th, 2013

Testing specialist Fime has been accredited by Visa to validate implementation of the Visa Mobile Payment Application on secure elements. VMPA is the applet stored in the secure element that enables an NFC phone to act as a Visa payments device and Fime is now be able to validate it works correctly on all types of secure elements including microSD, SIM and embedded formats.

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