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Archive: News in brief

China Mobile buys Fime test kit

December 10th, 2013

Mobile network operator China Mobile is using Fime’s EMV contactless analogue test bench for product testing. Fime will also provide consultancy services and carry out pre-certification handset testing. NFC testing equipment from Micropross is also being used by China Mobile.

AmEx certifies Pearl SE

December 10th, 2013

Oberthur Technologies’ Pearl embedded secure element has received certification from American Express. Pearl is also approved by MasterCard and Google and can be found in devices including the Xiaomi Mi3 and the Samsung Galaxy S4.

Isis vending promo goes live

December 9th, 2013

USA Technologies and Isis’ “Fifth Purchase Free” loyalty program is now live on more than 62,000 vending machines across the US. The promotion gives a fifth purchase free to users who make four purchases with their Isis Mobile Wallet at a USAT vending machine.

Karbonn adds NFC phone

December 6th, 2013

Indian smartphone maker Karbonn Mobile has launched the Titanium X, an RS18,490 (US$300) NFC-enabled smartphone with 5-inch Full HD display as well as 13 megapixel rear and 5 megapixel front-facing cameras. The handset runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean on a 1.5GHz quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM.

Edmonton mall goes NFC

December 6th, 2013

Shoppers at the Southgate Centre mall in Edmonton, Canada, can now access a range of information and offers by tapping their NFC phone to interactive directory points provided by Visionstate. Coupons, product information, restaurant menus and competitions will all be available via the Virtual Customer Care Interface (ViCCi) points.

NFC Haloband seeks funding

December 5th, 2013

The developers of a wristband that features three embedded NFC chips are seeking US$10,000 to put it into production. The Haloband will work with an Android app that allows the user to assign multiple functions — depending on the order in which the tags are tapped — to two of the chips, while the third is used for accessing information stored in a personal cloud account.

RapidNFC adds NTAG213 stickers

December 4th, 2013

Online retailer RapidNFC has begun offering NFC tags containing NXP’s NTAG213, an NFC chip with added security features, 144 bytes of user memory and a counter that stores how many times it has been read. The tag is available in both clear and white sticker format and can be purchased directly from RapidNFC’s website.

NFC app wins €10,000

December 4th, 2013

An app that allows NFC wallet users to share information on the purchases they make as well as recommend promotions and businesses to other users has won the €10,000 (US$13,588) first prize in a hackathon organized by Spain’s CaixaBank. The Foobar team’s app “gives individuals a means of sharing their opinions, while it also includes a gamification system to attract users,” the bank says.

Bloc hotel to get NFC keys

December 4th, 2013

A new hotel at London’s Gatwick airport is to allow visitors to use their NFC phones for room entry. Guests staying at the Bloc Gatwick hotel will also be able to use a mobile app to control room lighting, air conditioning and blinds.

New Year app gets NFC push

December 3rd, 2013

Australian telco Telstra has teamed up with Tapit to enable revellers to download a New Year’s Eve app by tapping NFC tags located at 1,100 Telstra phone boxes and on lanyards worn by 1,300 retail staff. Consumers will use the app to connect with family and friends at midnight as well as submit a text message that could end up being projected onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Proxama raises £8.6m

December 3rd, 2013

NFC specialist Proxama has raised £8.6m (US$14.11m) by placing 344m shares on the London Stock Exchange. “These additional funds will enable us to address the considerable opportunities that are emerging as the fast growing mobile commerce, NFC smartphone and contactless payments markets reach critical mass globally,” says CEO Neil Garner.

Seamless takes Seqr to the US

December 3rd, 2013

Mobile payments specialist Seamless has appointed two industry veterans to assist in establishing its Seqr NFC and QR payments platform in the US. Former Giesecke & Devrient director Emilian Elefteratos and payments executive Kenny Douglas will head the new US division. The additions come just weeks after Seamless announced the adoption of Seqr by McDonald’s restaurants in Belgium.

Vivo picks Gemalto TSM

November 28th, 2013

Brazilian mobile network operator Vivo has chosen Gemalto as its trusted service manager (TSM) for its NFC payments service in Brazil. Vivo, part of the Telefonica Group, is also using Gemalto’s UpTeq NFC SIM cards. The service is being introduced in a number of cities this year ahead of a proposed nationwide rollout in 2014.

Absolut runs NFC campaign

November 27th, 2013

Absolut Vodka is promoting its new bottle designs using NFC posters located in 20 venues in Dublin. Tapping the smart posters takes the user to the Absolut Originality Ireland website where they can connect through Facebook and enter a prize draw. “There is also a gallery showing a selection of the new designs,” Aisling O’Connor from marketing agency The Picture Works told NFC World.

NSW to check tickets with NFC

November 27th, 2013

Australia’s transit authority for New South Wales is seeking partners in the IT industry to develop an Android NFC phone app that Transport for NSW officers could use to interact with the authority’s contactless Opal transit cards. The app would be used to top up commuters’ prepaid cards and to issue penalties, ZDNet reports.

Historic cinema uses NFC tags

November 27th, 2013

The Eden Theatre in La Ciotat, one of the oldest cinemas in France, has installed NFC tags to enable visitors to watch movie trailers and access a mobile website containing news, previews, special events and schedules. NFC supplier Imeji‘s new CineTaGs service allows the Eden to manage its tags remotely and track and analyse real time user interaction statistics.

SensMaster adds NFC sensor tag

November 26th, 2013

Sensor tag maker SensMaster has introduced a tag that is designed to be worn like a watch and intended for safety, personnel tracking and security applications. The Tristan tags use an ultra-low power radio to communicate movement, location and identity to tag readers linked to a facility’s local area network, and include NFC as an option.

SmarTone joins HK NFC service

November 26th, 2013

SmarTone has become the latest Hong Kong carrier to participate in Hang Seng Bank’s NFC mobile payments service. SmarTone subscribers join PCCW Mobile, 1010 and One2Free customers in being able to store their Hang Seng MasterCard on an Android NFC phone and use it to make payments at more than 3,000 Hong Kong merchants.

USDOD looks to NFC

November 26th, 2013

The US Department of Defense is considering using NFC for mobile device authentication, reports Federal News Radio. “We’ve worked with Google, Samsung, a number of different folks, and we’re working on an NSA assessment,” the Defense Manpower Data Center’s Michael Butler says. “It’s really pretty simple technically. It’s really making all the standards work and getting all the standards folks to agree with it that’s the hard part.”

Jewellery maker adds NFC

November 26th, 2013

Danish jewellery designer Shamballa Jewels is to add an NFC and QR-based anti-counterfeiting solution to all its products from next year. Product Alive was developed by NFC Danmark and enables consumers and businesses to check the authenticity of a product, as well as when and where it was bought, by scanning or tapping a tag attached to the item. “Between five and ten brands will adopt Product Alive by the end of this year,” says the company’s Søren Kragh.

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