Acer adds donations and discounts to prayer beads

Buddhists go high-tech: Acer to launch smart prayer beads — EJ Insight — “The smart product looks just like traditional Buddhist prayer beads except that one of the beads has an embedded chip which can connect with the user’s smartphone and show the number of times a mantra is recited on the mobile app…. The smart Buddhist beads also come with fintech functions for electronic payments, facilitating donations and offering discounts at certain shops and restaurants in the Buddhist community.”


NXP puts eSIM, secure element and NFC on a single chip

NXP ushers in new era of eSIM-enabled devices for 5G and IoT with industry’s first single NFC and secure element monolithic chip — NXP — PARTNER NEWS — “The new NXP SN100U is the world’s first single-die chipset featuring an embedded secure element (SE), near field communications (NFC), and eSIM for added advanced functionality, cellular connectivity, and security. The company also introduced the SU070 standalone eSIM solution, which offers the industry’s smallest footprint and is ideal for smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other IoT devices that require cellular connectivity with low power consumption.”



IoTize picks ST NFC chip for plug’n’play IoT connectivity

IoTize joins STMicroelectronics partner program to boost plug’n’play solution that slashes time-to-market of IoT enable — STMicroelectronics/IoTize — PARTNER NEWS — “IoTize is introducing the solution in its first low-cost, turnkey IoT demonstrator module — the TapNLink Primer. This Primer will feature NFC connectivity based-on the ST25DV Dynamic Tag IC with 13.56MHz long-range interface and a Bluetooth Low Energy interface. The Primer will enable IoT proof-of-concept demonstrations in minutes by connecting any STM32-based system to a dedicated, provisioned, cloud environment using a smartphone as a network gateway.”


Researchers aim to print edible RFID tags directly on to food

Graphene on toast, anyone? — Rice University — “The Rice lab of chemist James Tour, which once turned Girl Scout cookies into graphene, is investigating ways to write graphene patterns onto food and other materials to quickly embed conductive identification tags and sensors into the products themselves… ‘This is not ink,’ Tour said. ‘This is taking the material itself and converting it into graphene.'”




Visa CEO plots central role in IoT payments

Visa CEO Al Kelly is planning for the day washing machines can make purchases — CNBC — “‘As the internet of things emerges and we see many more connected homes, connected cars and connected offices, you may end up with four, five, six, eight places in your home where you could actually buy from,’ Kelly told CNBC for Fortt Knox… ‘We at Visa are trying to make sure that we work with manufacturers around the world to create an on-ramp to facilitate payments from any of those locations,’ Kelly said. ‘We just want to be in the middle of that.’”



Mastercard and Here to create in-vehicle services that combine payments and mapping

Mastercard and Here power ride towards a more connected world — Mastercard — “This partnership comes as people look to take advantage of new technologies to make purchases from the convenience of their car’s dashboard and interact with destinations in real-time… Besides further advancing connected vehicle payments, additional use cases that may be explored include mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), demand management and location-based offerings.”


Visa, Mastercard and JCB back payment card with built-in cell phone chip

Dynamics Inc, global banks, payments networks, and telecommunications carriers unveil Wallet Card — Dynamics — “With almost 200 internal components, this Internet of Things device incorporates a number of cutting-edge technologies including: A cell phone chip and cell phone antenna so data can be transferred between Wallet Card and the bank anywhere in the world and at any time of the day; A battery and organic recharging chip so that the card charges itself through normal operation. Wallet Card can last indefinitely without the need for the consumer to perform any physical action.”



Ford gets patent for smartphone key case

Ford patents a smartphone case that turns your phone into a key fob — Ford Authority — “Ford Motor Company was just this week granted a patent on a new type of smartphone case with all the necessary integrated electronics to allow the phone to function as a vehicle key fob… The device would communicate with the encased smartphone through the Bluetooth or NFC (Near Field Communication) protocols, the patent says, giving the user access to a virtual keyfob on the smartphone’s screen.”


Apple GymKit with NFC goes live in Australia

GymKit launches today in Australia, automatically sync workout data between Apple Watch and gym equipment — 9to5Mac — “The first gym to feature GymKit-compatible equipment is now up and running in Australia. Users just tap their watches to the treadmill (or other GymKit equipment) using NFC, and they start sending data back and forth automatically… The idea is that the watch and the paired gym machine have better knowledge about different aspects of the workout. GymKit allows that data to be shared back and forth, as appropriate.”


Indola adds NFC tags to professional hair styling products

Henkel launches NFC pilot with Indola #SimplySmarter — Henkel Adhesive Technologies — “With a volume of 100,000 products to be rolled out in 35 different countries, Indola #SimplySmarter is one of the largest NFC pilots in the beauty care market to date… Professional hairstylists can simply tap the Indola product with a NFC-enabled smartphone and a landing page pops up immediately. It displays product information, how-to videos by celebrity ambassadors, and most importantly, a curated Instagram wall that is refreshed regularly to inspire and connect professional hairstylists all over the world.”


Researchers build ID data into smart clothing

How to store information in your clothes invisibly, without electronics — University of Washington — “Most people today combine conductive thread — embroidery thread that can carry an electrical current — with other types of electronics to create outfits, stuffed animals or accessories that light up or communicate… The UW researchers realized that this off-the-shelf conductive thread also has magnetic properties that can be manipulated to store either digital data or visual information like letters or numbers. This data can be read by a magnetometer, an inexpensive instrument that measures the direction and strength of magnetic fields and is embedded in most smartphones.”


Carnival explains how its NFC and BLE devices will power next-generation cruise ship guest experiences

Cover: "From MagicBand to Ocean Medallion: Using interactive devices to unlock next-generation guest experiences"

Carnival Corporation’s Michael Jungen explains how the world’s largest leisure travel company will use its new NFC and BLE-enabled Ocean Medallions to provide guests with a wide range of personalized, next generation services on board its cruise ships in an in-depth paper which is now available to download from the NFC World Knowledge Centre. More


Amazon Key to let delivery drivers and service providers into homes

Introducing Amazon Key, a new level of delivery convenience for Prime members — Amazon — “Available initially in 37 cities across the United States, Amazon’s innovative new service enables in-home delivery at no extra cost. Amazon Key also allows customers to grant secure home access for guests and, coming soon, tens of thousands of service providers, such as Merry Maids, Rover and professional services from Amazon Home Services. Amazon Key includes the Amazon Key app, a smart lock and the company’s newest device, Amazon Cloud Cam, an intelligent indoor security camera.”


NXP releases IoT microcontroller with NFC and energy harvesting

NXP integrates NFC technology into LPC800 series microcontrollers revolutionizing smart tagging in IoT applications — NXP — PARTNER NEWS — “Offering an integrated near field communications (NFC) interface with energy-harvesting capability, the LPC8N04 MCU is optimized to address the growing need for cost-effective, short-range two-way wireless communication… The LPC8N04 MCU enables developers to quickly implement broad-based solutions that leverage system diagnostics or environmental conditions for a smarter tagging experience.


Thinfilm raises US$110m to support growth in NFC market

Thinfilm raises $110 million as NFC solutions traction increases among leading consumer brands — Thinfilm — “The substantial funding secured in this private placement is a testament to both the opportunity that exists in the NFC solutions space and Thinfilm’s ability — as a market leader — to address the increasing demand among consumer brands of all sizes,” said Davor Sutija, CEO of Thinfilm. “With sufficient financing to get us to cash break-even, we are now keenly focused on bringing affordable intelligence to billions of everyday items.”


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