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    Archive: Technology

    NXP signs deals to add NFC to cars

    February 28th, 2017

    PARTNER NEWS: Five “leading car OEMs” are to integrate NFC technology from NXP into cars to enable a variety of secure interactions including vehicle access, Bluetooth and WiFi pairing, personalization and payments, the chip maker has announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. A new automotive-grade NFC frontend IC, optimized for secure car access, has also been announced along with a vehicle door handle reference design based on the new NCx3320 chip.

    NXP reveals secure element and NFC solution that speeds transaction times, increases security and supports smaller form factors

    February 27th, 2017

    PARTNER NEWS: A new embedded secure element and NFC solution from NXP will make it possible for mobile transactions to be conducted at the same speed as contactless card transactions. It also enables biometric security,… More

    Google Assistant comes to more Android phones

    February 27th, 2017

    Google Assistant will be made available to all phones running Android 7.0 Nougat and Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating systems, Reuters reports. The virtual assistant will roll out this week to English speakers in the US, followed by Australia, Canada, the UK and German speakers in Germany. The company “is working on support for additional languages”, the news service adds. Google Assistant had previously only been available on Google’s own Pixel brand phones.

    GSMA predicts 1.1bn 5G connections by 2025

    February 27th, 2017

    The GSMA forecasts there will be 1.1bn 5G mobile connections by 2025, with 5G networks providing one in eight of all mobile connections and driving “massive rollout of intelligent IoT nodes for a multitude of scenarios”. “The 5G era will make possible a huge array of new applications, everything from sensor-driven smart parking to holographic conference calls,” says GSMA director general Mats Granryd.

    UK bank tests voice commands with Google Home

    February 22nd, 2017

    Starling Bank, a UK mobile-only bank, is testing an integration of its API with Google Home, the voice-activated speaker powered by Google Assistant. A video shows a user using voice commands to ask for her balance and spending history, and make a person-to-person payment.

    Swiss region pilots own local blockchain-based cryptocurrency

    February 21st, 2017

    A pilot test of a cryptocurrency based on blockchain technology has taken place in the canton of Ticino, Switzerland. The use of the paperless Ticinocoin is designed to promote the local economy, and will “save many administrative costs [while] every transaction would be transparent, safe and verifiable by all”, says founder Michele Fiscalini.

    Apple buys facial recognition startup

    February 20th, 2017

    Apple has acquired RealFace, an Israel-based facial recognition technology startup, in a deal estimated to be “several million dollars,” Israeli financial website Calcalist reports. RealFace uses deep learning to “detect a wide variety of elements in images and recognize faces of people with a fairly high degree of accuracy”.

    EMV card shipments grow less than 1% in 2016

    February 20th, 2017

    Global EMV payment card shipments increased by less than 1% year-on-year in 2016, reaching nearly 3bn, ABI Research says. “Between 2012 and 2015, the market became accustomed to annual growth rates in the 20% to 35% range, as first China and then the US began their respective migration programs,” the research firm adds. “But, as overstocking paired with near saturation points hit both countries simultaneously, orders significantly slowed.”

    New iPhone to feature 3D laser facial recognition scanner?

    February 17th, 2017

    Apple’s iPhone 7S, 7S Plus and 8 will come with a 3D laser scanner for facial recognition later this year to replace the Touch ID fingerprint scanner, JPMorgan analyst Rod Hall has told MacRumors. He says the switch to facial recognition will “potentially be more secure than Touch ID, which could increase Apple Pay adoption among banks and merchants”.

    Smart home owners can ask Alexa to unlock front door

    February 16th, 2017

    Homeowners with smart home company August’s Smart Lock system are now able to ask an Amazon Alexa-enabled device to unlock their front door using their voice and a secure voice PIN of four to 12 digits. Users “can begin using Alexa by enabling the August Smart Lock skill within the Alexa app”, the firm says. August will “also soon integrate with” Google Assistant, Forbes reports.

    What’s New in Payments: Leading international innovators explain the latest payments trends and technologies in free special report

    February 16th, 2017

    Senior executives from Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Barclaycard, Swatch and CaixaBank are among 12 leading payments innovators who have contributed to What’s New in Payments, a 104-page special report that is now available to download free… More

    Apple patent shows touchscreen fingerprint scanner

    February 15th, 2017

    A patent shows Apple is working on a “micro-LED active matrix display panel” that would allow a fingerprint scanner to be integrated into an iPhone touchscreen and could eventually replace the current Touch ID button. “The ability to detect an object’s surface profile while the display panel is not emitting visible light enables the display panel to detect a user’s fingerprint to unlock a mobile device when the display panel appears to be off,” the application says.

    Finnish distiller adds NFC tags to gin bottles

    February 14th, 2017

    Finnish distiller Northern Lights Spirits (NLS) is to include NFC tags on premium Kalevala Gin bottles, allowing it to “instantly deliver authentication messages, brand stories, promotional offers, product news and other relevant content” to customers. The tags will “contribute significantly to consumer loyalty and the overall popularity of Kalevala Gin”, Moritz Wüstenberg, managing director at NLS, says.

    Wearable security market to reach $5.74bn by 2021

    February 14th, 2017

    The global wearable security devices market is expected to reach US$5.74bn by 2021, Technavio research shows. The market will grow between 2017 and 2021 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of “close to 19% during the forecast period,” the company says. “The increased adoption of Internet of Things to manage the physical assets of an organisation is one of the key drivers of the market.”

     

    NXP unveils IoT security platform

    February 14th, 2017

    PARTNER NEWS: NXP has unveiled a platform designed to enable developers of Internet of Things equipment to “easily build” secure and trusted systems. QorlQ “provides a complete set of hardware, software and process capabilities to embed security and trust into every aspect of a product’s life cycle,” the company says.

    PCI offers guidance for multi-factor authentication

    February 13th, 2017

    The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI) has issued guidance on the “proper use” of multi-factor authentication (MFA) for preventing unauthorised access to computers and systems that process payment transactions. The Multi-Factor Authentication Information Supplement will “help organisations using, evaluating or upgrading an MFA solution understand how to implement it properly and securely,” says PCI’s Troy Leach.

    Swatch to build OS for smartwatches

    February 10th, 2017

    Swiss watchmaker Swatch is working on its own operating system for smartwatches, built in conjunction with research and technology provider CSEM. “It will be designed especially for the needs of small connected objects and, naturally, first and foremost for watches,” Swatch says. “We are aiming to launch the first products by the end of 2018.”

    Schiphol Airport tests facial recognition to speed up boarding

    February 10th, 2017

    Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has begun a three-month trial of facial recognition technology at one of its boarding gates. Passengers register by having their faces, passports and boarding passes scanned, and then use a separate biometric gate to board their plane. Schiphol and Dutch airline KLM say the ultimate goal is “making the boarding process as easy and quick as possible for passengers”.

    Bus operator reports QR and NFC adoption stats

    February 9th, 2017

    Bus passengers in the UK county of West Yorkshire are using QR codes and NFC at bus stops 10,000 times every week to retrieve travel information. West Yorkshire Combined Authority fitted QR codes and NFC tags on all of the county’s 14,500 bus stops in October 2015. “In 2016, passengers used QR codes and NFC chips over 400,000 times,” the organisation says.

    ‘World first’ plastic NFC tag opens up new possibilities for NFC deployments

    February 8th, 2017

    Global playing card and board game producer Cartamundi, nanoelectronics research centre Imec and Holst Centre — an initiative set up by Imec and Dutch research institute TNO — have unveiled a “world first” NFC tag… More

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