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Archive: News in brief

Google posts HCE guide

November 1st, 2013

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.

Bankmecu tests NFC stickers

October 30th, 2013

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.

UK gov funds NFC ticketing

October 30th, 2013

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.

Comic Con issues NFC badges

October 30th, 2013

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.

Mad Catz adds NFC keyboard

October 30th, 2013

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.

NFC on the cards for Moonga

October 30th, 2013

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.

Adelaide Airport adds NFC ads

October 30th, 2013

NFC capabilities are to be added to indoor and outdoor digital signage at Adelaide Airport’s domestic and international terminals. The move is part of an A$2.2m contract signed by the Australian airport with out-of-home media specialist Ooh! Media and work is due to be completed by the end of 2013.

ZTE adds rugged NFC handset

October 30th, 2013

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.

Hike offers NFC phones

October 30th, 2013

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.

Logitech adds NFC phone stand

October 30th, 2013

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.

Xiaomi Mi3 uses Oberthur SE

October 29th, 2013

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.

Jetco to launch NFC in Hong Kong

October 24th, 2013

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.

TuneIn Radio adds NFC

October 23rd, 2013

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.

Android NFC app reads passports

October 23rd, 2013

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.

SK C&C ships 6m NFC Sims

October 23rd, 2013

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.

Tapshoot offers NFC selfies

October 23rd, 2013

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.

Dubai to get NFC taxi payments

October 22nd, 2013

Dubai residents will be able to pay taxi fares using a prepaid Smart Nol transit card stored on their NFC SIM from January 2014, the city’s Roads and Transport Authority has announced. Etisalat and Du subscribers have been able to pay via NFC for public transportation since September 2013.

Umi launches two NFC phones

October 21st, 2013

Chinese phone manufacturer Umi is to introduce two Android 4.2 smartphones with NFC. The Umi X2S features an eight-core processor and a 5-inch 1080p display while the Umi Cross is a 6.44-inch Full HD phablet. The Cross will be available from the start of November 2013 at around £300.

BagJack adds NFC security

October 16th, 2013

German messenger bag maker Bagjack is using an NFC-based anti-counterfeiting solution developed by Serfides to authenticate the products it sells in Japan. The solution enables a validation code stored on a product’s NFC tag to be read and matched to its counterpart on a back-end database, confirming the authenticity of the bag.

Skoubee offers NFC pet ID tags

October 14th, 2013

Skoubee, a Swiss electronic pet ID provider, is offering its Skoubee Medal range of ID tags with NFC and QR codes. On reading a Skoubee Medal consumers are able to see the pet’s personal profile, including their microchip number and owner’s contact information, on Skoubee’s website. Available in two colours for €48, the Skoubee Medal also includes an 8-digit code that can be entered on the website by those without a smartphone.

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