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Archive: Technology

Touch ID patent adds fingertip motion

December 19th, 2014

Future iPhones may use a combination of Touch ID and fingertip motion to protect access, a recent Apple patent application has revealed. “An electronic device may include a finger biometric sensor, a display and a processor coupled to the finger biometric sensor and the display,” the filing explains. The patent application goes on to explain how a phone could be partially unlocked by drawing the correct pattern on the fingerprint sensor, or fully on providing a biometric match.

Iowa to launch mobile driving license

December 17th, 2014

The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) in the US is developing a smartphone-based driver’s license using an app that would co-exist with traditional plastic cards, WSJ reports. How the service will work and when it will be launched remain unclear however, due to concerns surrounding privacy and security. Iowa DOT is now focusing on working out how police and transportation officers will be able to interact with the mobile licenses and on ways to prevent fakes.

Cooper Hewitt museum visitors to use NFC pens to interact with multi-touch display tables  

December 17th, 2014

Visitors to the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York are to be given the opportunity to use an NFC pen to interact with a range of NFC-enabled multi-touch display tables, enabling them to… More

SIMalliance updates OMAPI

December 10th, 2014

SIMalliance has published version 3.0 of its Open Mobile API Specification, bringing with it support for “every type of smartphone OS globally”. The specification sets out a standard way for mobile applications to access different secure elements — including SIM-based and embedded SEs —  within a mobile device and is currently implemented in more than 150 models of Android NFC smartphone.

Fido finalises authentication specs

December 10th, 2014

The Fido Alliance has published final drafts of version 1.0 of its Universal Authentication Framework (UAF) and Universal Second Factor (U2F) specifications. The specifications enable websites and cloud applications to replace the need for passwords with “a broad variety of existing and future Fido ­enabled authenticators, ranging from biometrics to hardware tokens”. Extensions that will add support for both NFC and Bluetooth are also nearing completion, the alliance says.

Fujitsu uses LED lights to send data to smartphones

December 9th, 2014

Fujitsu Laboratories has shown off a way to use LED lighting to transmit data about a particular product in a store, an exhibit in a museum or a song being performed during a concert to… More

Toshiba offers NFC/BLE combi chip

December 3rd, 2014

Toshiba has unveiled a dual-function IC that includes both a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio and an NFC Type 3 (Felica) tag. The tag part of the chip offers 1.5KB of memory and an I2C interface to allow it to be shared with the BLE side. The TC35670FTG is designed to be included in Bluetooth Smart devices such as sensors, toys, smartphone accessories and healthcare devices and offers one-touch Bluetooth pairing as well as power management features to increase battery lifetimes.

Scotiabank adds smartwatch app

December 2nd, 2014

Canada’s Scotiabank has launched a Quick Balance app for the Samsung Gear 2 and Samsung Gear S smartwatches that lets customers check their account balance with a swipe of the screen. “We have seen a definite shift in the way consumers are interacting with our products and services,” says the bank’s Jeff Marshall. “It is our goal to stay ahead of the curve by developing self-service banking solutions for Canadians before they know they need them and, ultimately, a richer banking experience for our customers.”

White paper explores the benefits of host card emulation

December 2nd, 2014

A new white paper that explores how host card emulation (HCE) can overcome the challenges faced by service providers when implementing secure NFC services is now available to download from the NFC World+ Knowledge Centre…. More

Keyssa unveils high speed short range ‘kiss’ connectivity technology

November 17th, 2014

Keyssa, a US startup backed by US$47m in funding from investors that include Intel, Samsung and Dolby Family Ventures and chaired by Nest founder Tony Fadell, has unveiled Kiss Connectivity, a solid-state embedded connector that can be used to transfer data between two devices at up to six gigabits per second. More

Finnish cafes to test face recognition

November 17th, 2014

A number of cafes in Helsinki, Finland, are to begin testing a payments service developed by Uniqul that uses the geometric proportions of a customer’s face to verify their identity, Yle reports. The technology can be incorporated into existing cash registers, the startup says. “All the customer needs to do when purchasing something with this application is to press an OK button,” Uniqul CEO Oscar Tuutti explains.

Paris restaurant equips waiters with wearables that alert them when orders are ready

November 14th, 2014

Waiters in a Paris restaurant have been equipped with mobile phones that let them take orders on the go — and smartwatches that let bartenders and kitchen staff alert them when an order is ready to be served, avoiding delays and improving service times. More

Researchers show off ‘skin buttons’ for smartwatches

October 24th, 2014

Carnegie Mellon University’s Future Interfaces Group has developed a system that will allow smartwatches to laser project icons representing device functions or notifications for missed calls and messages onto the wearer’s skin. “To achieve this,… More