NFC news in brief
4 November 2013, 17:23
Canadian Bank CIBC has extended availability of its NFC payments service to BlackBerry Q10 owners. The service was first rolled out in November 2012 and expanded to include support for BlackBerry 10 phones in October 2013. Consumers must also have a Suretap NFC SIM from telco Rogers Communications to make NFC payments.
4 November 2013, 15:18
Advanced Card Systems has received NFC Forum certification for its ACR1252U USB NFC reader. "It is another ACS milestone and a proof of our R&D efforts devoted to NFC technology," says the company's Gilbert Leung. Engineering samples will be available at the end of 2013.
4 November 2013, 15:12
British Airways has begun testing a reusable digital luggage tag that contains an e-ink display and can be updated via NFC with new flight information each time a passenger travels. Nokia Lumia handsets are being used by Microsoft employees during the one month trial at Heathrow Terminal 5. All smartphones will be supported when the service goes live, BA says.
4 November 2013, 14:36
Digital signage software specialist Capital Networks has added NFC to its Audience for Android digital signage solution, an entry-level content management and display system for businesses entering the digital signage market. NFC will be used to allow consumers to get information by tapping their NFC phone to automatically open a web page linked to the advertised product.
1 November 2013, 01:12
A detailed guide to Android 4.4 KitKat's support for Host Card Emulation (HCE), which enables NFC payments and other secure services to be delivered without the use of a secure element, is now available on the Android Developers website. The host-based card emulation guide explains how HCE works on Android devices and how developers can create apps that use the technique.
30 October 2013, 16:48
Australia's Bankmecu and card issuer Cuscal have completed an NFC payment sticker trial, enabling consumers to make contactless payments at Visa payWave terminals using a smart sticker stuck to their phone. Bankmecu now plans to further test the service before launching it to its wider cardholder base in the next few months. People's Choice Credit Union will also test the service and Cuscal says it is in discussions with additional clients.
30 October 2013, 16:41
The UK Government's Technology Strategy Board is providing a £1.1m grant to a consortium led by Tedipay that is developing MultiPass, a smart ticketing service designed to offer a single, nationwide travel pass that will always charge travellers the lowest possible fare. Multipass will be available on NFC phones and also allow passengers to make payments for snacks and drinks, car parking and other travel-related products and services.
30 October 2013, 15:43
Traditional tickets were replaced with NFC badges at this year's New York Comic Con and staff were provided with Google Nexus 7 NFC tablets that could be used to check them. The system, supplied by event ticketing specialist ShowClix, "was the most successful entry experience in the history of New York Comic Con," said event organiser ReedPop's Lance Fensterman.
30 October 2013, 14:57
Computer peripherals manufacturer Mad Catz has announced the Strike M Mobile Keyboard, a wireless gaming keyboard that includes NFC to make it easy for gamers to connect it to NFC-enabled laptops and other mobile devices. The keyboard can also be paired to non-NFC hardware via Bluetooth, and will be available in black, white and red before the end of 2013.
30 October 2013, 13:38
Software developer Everdreamsoft is seeking US$75,000 in crowdfunding to produce physical versions of its Moonga online trading cards, enabling gamers to continue earning online points offline. Moonga "connected cards" will contain an NFC tag that can be used to store the history of a card, encourage local interactions with other gamers by offering team benefits and allow players to track their games by tapping a card to their smartphones. The Kickstarter funding drive closes on 22 November.
30 October 2013, 12:02
30 October 2013, 11:55
Smartphone manufacturer ZTE has announced a durable Android NFC handset designed for use in "challenging environments" such as security, transportation, factories and logistics. The IP67-rated ZTE Gota GH800 runs Android 4.1, has a 4-inch touchscreen and offers 4G LTE connectivity along with a range of features suited to use in the field.
30 October 2013, 11:23
Chinese smartphone maker Hike Mobile has released two NFC smartphones, the X1 and the X1D. Both devices run the company's custom version of Android 4.2, cost CNY1,999 (US$328) and feature a 5-inch full HD display with 13 megapixel rear camera, a 1.5GHz quad-core processor with 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage. The X1D also offers dual SIM support.
30 October 2013, 11:05
Logitech has introduced a portable speakerphone/smartphone stand that makes use of NFC pairing to enable business travellers to quickly and easily set up hands free audio and video calls. The P710e is shipping now for US$169.99.
29 October 2013, 11:51
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has included Oberthur Technologies' Pearl embedded secure element in its Mi3 handset — a device which sold 100,000 units in under 90 seconds when it became available earlier this month. The Pearl is certified for NFC payments by Visa, MasterCard and Google and is undergoing certification by China UnionPay. It also supports strong authentication, transit, access and loyalty applications.
24 October 2013, 10:19
Hong Kong ATM network provider Jetco is to offer NFC payments using an add-on device that plugs into the headphone jack of a standard smartphone, the South China Morning Post reports. Five of Jetco's thirty member banks have signed up for the service and Bank of China (Hong Kong) is set to be the first to pilot the platform later this year, alongside its existing BOC e-Wallet NFC service.
23 October 2013, 15:47
TuneIn has updated the Windows Phone 8 version of its TuneIn Radio app, enabling NFC phone users to share their favourite playlists via NFC. TuneIn offers music, sports and news from more than 70,000 AM, FM and internet radio stations around the world.
23 October 2013, 15:15
IT security firm Dexlab has released eCL0WN, an app that can read and clone data from an electronic passport using an Android 2.3+ NFC device. eCl0wn can read and decrypt the passport data, display details including the holder's picture, and write that data to an e-passport emulator or the phone's internal storage.
23 October 2013, 10:03
Korea's SK C&C has shipped its six millionth NFC SIM card and is now to make the product available in the US. "Since 2011, SK C&C has been shipping NFC SIMs customized to carrier requirements" says SK C&C USA's Jean-Louis Carrara.
23 October 2013, 09:19
Windows Phone 8 users can now take better 'selfies' — and other photos — by triggering their smartphone's camera from another device, using a new NFC app. The TapShoot app must be installed on both phones, before selecting which one is to take the photo. The devices are then paired by tapping them together, allowing the user to see the proposed shot and trigger its capture from the second phone.