NFC news in brief
29 November 2011, 12:42
NFC tag platform provider Kimtag has launched ScanTip, a realtime email alert system for QR code and NFC tag scans. "ScanTip's realtime notification, combined with our vTag multiple tag system, allows our users to get a closer understanding of how and when QR codes or NFC tags are being scanned," says CEO Phil Coote.
29 November 2011, 12:14
A bug in Android 4's NFC implementation prevents Samsung's Galaxy Nexus phone from writing NDEF messages to unformatted tags. First reported on the XDA Developers forums, the problem also affects other devices running Ice Cream Sandwich and is now being addressed by Google: "We're aware of this issue, and it will be fixed in next upcoming release," says the company.
29 November 2011, 12:11
Acer's Liquid Express, the company's first NFC-equipped device, is now available in the UK from Orange and T-Mobile. The entry-level smartphone features a 3.5-inch touch screen and runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Acer stated earlier this month that all its future Android smartphones will come with NFC.
28 November 2011, 15:22
Symbian NFC phone users can now check in to locations on Foursquare with a touch of their phones, using the newly updated Foursquare for Symbian app. "No more tedious steps of launching an application waiting for location fix, connecting etc... With NFC this is all done with a simple tap," says Nokia.
25 November 2011, 18:11
Nokia N9 NFC phone users in Dubai are being offered free cinema ticket and popcorn vouchers for tapping their phone on smart posters and display stands located in the foyer of selected Vox Cinemas. Exit displays allow NFC phone users to tap a tag to access movie listings and a Nokia Facebook 'Like' page. The system was developed by UK-based NFC specialist Proxama.
25 November 2011, 17:58
The lack of a "concrete European framework" for mobile payments means "the largest and most promising global m-payment initiatives are currently launched outside Europe," according to a European Commission document that Bloomberg News has obtained. "Regulators may seek to spur mobile-phone payments," says Bloomberg.
25 November 2011, 12:48
Inside Secure has been included in the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA, a ranking of the 500 fastest growing technology companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The French company, which is expected to go public in the near future, has grown operating revenue 318% over five years. Mobile banking specialist Monitise also made the list, with 2,408% growth over the same period.
25 November 2011, 11:07
Italian technology provider Reply has unveiled Hi Credits, a new service that lets consumers make purchases by scanning a 2D barcode displayed on a merchant's mobile phone, or printed on a wide variety of promotional media, or by tapping an NFC tag. To register, consumers download an app and sign up on a participating bank's website. They can then complete a scanned or tapped purchase by simply entering a PIN on their phone and pressing 'OK'.
25 November 2011, 09:57
A concept NFC medical monitoring device has won an iF product design award. "MiniME connects biometric sensors placed on the body to track health stats using RFID and near field communication," MD+DI reports. "It measures ECG, blood pressure, heart rate, pulse oximetry, body temperature, blood glucose, cholesterol, hemoglobin and prothrombin time. Data are communicated through a cloud or internet site and shared with healthcare professionals via mobile devices".
25 November 2011, 09:38
RIM has now added support for NFC peer-to-peer applications with the release of the software development kit for the BlackBerry 7.1 operating system. The NFC peer-to-peer API allows applications to share larger files and other data through NFC-initiated communication which is then handed over to Bluetooth. Use cases include starting multiplayer games by tapping two handsets together.
25 November 2011, 09:09
BNZ and Vodafone have begun a three month NFC payments pilot in New Zealand. The small scale trial involves some 44 BNZ and Vodafone staff who will be issued with Samsung Galaxy S II NFC phones. Visa and payments processor Paymark are also taking part in the trial. "What we're testing here is the viability of a true mobile wallet that will eventually allow people to replace multiple pieces of plastic with functionality embedded inside their phone," says BNZ's Paul Tait. "It's going to make smartphones even smarter."
22 November 2011, 19:12
Giesecke & Devrient has received MasterCard certification for its trusted service manager (TSM) hub in Toronto, Canada. The site handles G&D's NFC application management and provisioning business throughout North America. The company's TSM facility in Munich, Germany received MasterCard certification in 2009. G&D says it is currently preparing multiple commercial NFC roll-outs at both sites.
22 November 2011, 16:26
"Mobey Forum strongly believes in and promotes the concept of the mobile wallet as an open platform rather than a system limited to the provider's partnerships," says the mobile financial services association in a new white paper (PDF) which calls for ownership of a mobile wallet to reside with the end user. "When the mobile wallet is an open platform, the ultimate decision on opting for and managing services rests with the user. From a branding point of view, the wallet could very well be white-labelled, and the choice left to the user as to what services and brands the user connects to this."
22 November 2011, 15:11
Visa Europe is moving to contactless payments for the vending machines in its UK offices after a six month trial conducted with vending specialist Vianet in which a dozen machines recorded more than 10,000 contactless transactions. The machines are fitted with a reader on the front so customers can wave and pay. "We believe that there is a significant opportunity for contactless in the vending industry and we look forward to seeing wider deployment of contactless technology," commented Visa.
22 November 2011, 14:34
The Christmas lights in English university city and tech centre Cambridge have been officially switched on by a celebrity using an NFC phone, reports The Register.
22 November 2011, 11:31
Three NFC products have picked up Sesame awards at the Cartes trade show in Paris. NXP won the software category with its open source NFC host software stack for Android. The chipmaker also picked up the prize for the best mobility application with its PN65 integrated NFC controller and secure element. HID Global was also a winner, with its iClass SE secure identity platform taking the trusted internet and authentication category.
21 November 2011, 18:05
Australian NFC marketer Tapit is using the technology to promote a scratch card game for SA Lotteries. Players can enter to win A$5,000 by tapping an NFC tag or reading a QR code on smart posters on phone booths in five locations in Adelaide. The contest provides the lottery company with contact information for consumers interested in winning prizes. "This campaign highlights the benefits of yet another commercial use of NFC to build customer interaction and engagement in a simple way," says Tapit's Andrew Davis.
21 November 2011, 16:12
Shanghai COS Software (SCS), a Chinese chip operating system developer, has joined smart card standards association GlobalPlatform as an observer member. The association commented, "As an expert in secure chip-based application development, we welcome Shanghai COS to the organisation and look forward to benefiting from the wealth of knowledge it brings from extensive research and development activities in this area."
21 November 2011, 14:30
Japanese mobile network operator Softbank, card issuer Credit Saison and American Express have teamed up with NFC technology providers Dai Nippon Printing and Gemalto to test SIM-based NFC payments on Android phones. The three month trial sees an NFC version of American Express' contactless Expresspay service being stored on an NFC SIM issued by Softbank, rather than the embedded secure element used in Google Wallet.
21 November 2011, 12:07
Samsung Electronics has launched a system-in-package (SIP) NFC embedded secure element solution. The Secu-NFC chip combines an NFC controller and a secure element in a package measuring 4.3mm by 4.3mm by 1mm and includes 760KB of high-density flash memory. "Samsung's new secure NFC solution with its high data storage capacity provides consumers with ample room to expand operation service and features to deliver the ultimate user experience," says the company's Dojun Rhee.