US startup Scanther is raising funds on Indiegogo for a combined mobile website plus NFC tag package for independent retailers.
The service is designed to enable small merchants to market their businesses via QR, SMS and NFC-enabled counter signs, window decals and table top signs that link directly to a custom mobile-optimized website.
Source: NFC World
Customers of Canadian mobile operators Bell Mobility, Rogers and Telus will be able to use NFC for secure authentication and identification after the EnStream mobile commerce joint venture signed a deal with credential issuer SecureKey.
SecureKey recently launched an authentication service for the Government of Canada that enables Canadians to use their bank authentication credentials to obtain access to online government services like pension, tax and benefits. The initiative is part of the Canadian government’s Federated Identity Management strategy, which promotes the interoperability of security credentials to create a lower cost, more convenient, and more secure authentication ecosystem for consumers and business.
“Our partnership with SecureKey gives Canadians an innovative and valuable solution that can be used with services from government, healthcare providers and financial institutions,” said Enstream’s Almis Ledas. “SecureKey is the first credential issuer to announce that it will make use of our ability to deploy secure credentials on SIM-based secure elements for mobile carriers in Canada.”
Source: NFC World
At CES 2013, the Wireless Power Consortium displayed dozens of devices that were designed to the Qi wireless charging standard, suggesting that 2013 may be the year wireless charging becomes a feature consumers expect to come standard in new smartphones.
Nokia and HTC already offer smartphones with Qi technology integrated directly, such as the Lumia 920 and Droid DNA. For more popular smartphones that were not developed with Qi compatibility, including Apple’s iPhone 5 and Samsung’s Galaxy S3, third-party manufacturers have developed smartphone cases with integrated Qi technology. The cases themselves plug into the phone’s power dock and relay a charge received when the encased phone is placed on a wireless power source.
Further facilitating the rise of wireless charging is the Qi standard’s compatibility. Although manufacturers can build wirelessly charging devices on their own, the standard dictates that all Qi-enabled devices are compatible with all Qi-enabled power sources. That means a wireless charging pad developed by Nokia could charge a smartphone built by HTC, and so on. Best of all, it means smartphone users will never again need to scramble for a power cord that fits into the custom-designed power dock on their phones.
But what does the impending rise of wirelessly charging smartphones have to do with the growth of near-field communications (NFC) technology?
At CES, the WPC booth also displayed several new components designed to facilitate the integration of the Qi wireless charging technology. One component on display, developed by TDK, integrated both Qi wireless technology and NFC into a single chip.
As these components become smaller, cheaper, and easier to integrate into devices, Bas Fransen, chief marketing officer at ConvenientPower, says manufacturers will ship more smartphones featuring both wireless charging and NFC.
“The beauty of Qi is that the receiver actually is very simple and low in cost; that has been the objective as mobile phone OEMs demand ultra-low-cost adders,” Fransen says. “So, indeed, once those chips are ready, it will be simple for mobile phone OEMs to integrate Qi and NFC.”
Some smartphones already feature both NFC and Qi. At CES, Fransen placed an NFC/Qi-enabled smartphone on top of a similarly outfitted JBL boombox, which charged the device while streaming audio through its speakers wirelessly.
However, the Qi and NFC technologies were integrated separately in the manufacturing process of some of these devices, which is why phones that boast both capabilities have been so rare to this point. But as manufacturers look to set their devices apart from those of their competitors, Fransen says the integration of NFC and wireless charging will become a common trend by the second half of 2013.
The integration is relatively simple, Fransen says. The NFC and Qi systems will simply operate “next to each other on one single ‘die.’” The result will be a less expensive method by which manufacturers can tout new capabilities on their products.
“The easier and cheaper we all make it for mobile phone OEMs, the faster technologies get adopted,” Fransen says.
Of course, some obstacles still stand in the way. Near-field communications has long been touted as the future of mobile payments, but while Google Wallet uses the technology for its smartphone payment technology, Apple famously passed on the technology for its mobile payment app on the iPhone 5. At the time, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller told All Things D that NFC does not necessarily solve any current problems smartphone users face. Considering that the technology had already been criticized by eBay CEO John Donahoe, who has joked that NFC should stand for “Not For Commerce,” the snub likely did not improve public opinion on the technology.
Steve Goacher, business development manager for wireless power at Texas Instruments, says “there is no reason why these two solutions cannot be combined.” However, he points out that integrating NFC and Qi technologies could result in efficiency and cost of the final solution, if it’s not perfected before the component is shipped.
Consumers will also need to find places to use NFC. In order for an NFC-enabled device to complete a transaction, it needs to be scanned by an NFC reader. That means merchants will need to jump onboard as well.
This process will take some time, but the shift is indeed expected to happen. Gartner predicts a 42% annual growth rate for mobile payment transactions will result in a $617 billion market of 448 million users by 2016.
“NFC payment involves a change in user behavior and requires collaboration among stakeholders that includes banks, mobile carriers, card networks and merchants,” Sandy Shen, research director at Gartner, said in a May 2012 report. “It takes time for both to happen, so we don’t expect NFC payments to come into the mass market before 2015. In the meantime, ticketing, rather than retail payment, will drive NFC transactions.”
Source: Network World
Sixty care workers in the UK’s Bath and North East Somerset area have begun using NFC phones to log their visits to clients’ homes.
Bluebird Care is using Advanced Health & Care’s iConnect Service to record workers’ arrival and departure times at customers’ homes via NFC as well as to deliver real-time task lists and data to the care workers’ mobile phones.
“The use of iConnect will improve efficiencies and provide us with greater transparency around care delivery,” explains Tim Rowland Jones, managing director of the local Bluebird Care franchise. “We’ll know exactly when our care workers arrive and leave customers’ homes and there will no longer be a reliance on paper rosters and follow-up phone calls between the office and care workers when appointments need rearranging.”
The switch to iConnect is expected to reduce phone costs by 10% and paper, printing and postage costs by 50%.
“We are committed to providing the very best quality of care to our 200 customers,” says Rowland Jones. “This latest mobile solution will ensure we continue to provide the highest levels of service whilst operating as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.”
Source: NFC World
“The goal of the alliances is to facilitate joint work to further the adoption, reach, and impact of NFC technology in key markets and industries, including mobile communications, air travel, and Wi-Fi communications,” says the NFC Forum. “Collaborative activities will include work on market education, global interoperability, and mobile testing.”
IATA is the trade association for the world’s airlines, representing some 240 airlines that account for 84% of total air traffic. IATA plans to work with the NFC Forum to raise awareness in the market, and help build the ecosystem for NFC. The agreement will include outreach programs such as workshops for airlines and airports, white papers, case studies, webcasts, and events.
“Through programs like Simplifying the Business, IATA continues to explore new standards and technologies to increase customer satisfaction and improve aviation’s efficiency,” says Aleks Popovich, IATA’s senior VP for industry distribution and financial services. “Near field communication offers the potential to support IATA’s Fast Travel initiative, which is aimed at meeting passenger demands for more self-service options. We look forward to our collaboration with the NFC Forum on this exciting opportunity.”
The Wi-Fi Alliance is a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of companies devoted to seamless connectivity. Under the new agreement, the Wi-Fi Alliance and the NFC Forum will exchange approved documents, share information about program schedules, work jointly on NFC Forum Application Documents describing the use of NFC for Wi-Fi network configuration, cooperate on shared marketing material to promote certification programs, and participate in joint events.
“We are pleased to collaborate more closely with the NFC Forum under the terms of our liaison agreement,” says Wi-Fi Alliance president and CEO Edgar Figueroa. “Coordination between our organizations will help deliver a good user experience and exciting new applications of our technologies.”
GCF is a partnership of network operators, device manufacturers, and the test industry that has created an independent certification program to help ensure global interoperability between mobile devices and networks. Under their liaison agreement, GCF and the NFC Forum will work together to identify certification requirements impacting NFC-enabled Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) wireless devices. The partners will also develop processes and procedures to ensure the robustness, reliability, and transparency of NFC-enabled 3GPP wireless device certification and deliver joint announcements and collaborative marketing programs.
“Our certification scheme is built on an ethos of ‘test once, use anywhere’ and provides a global benchmark for the interoperability of mobile handsets and connected devices,” says Adriana Nugter, GCF’s operations manager. “Through collaboration with the NFC Forum and other industry organisations, GCF strives to streamline testing requirements for wireless devices embedding multiple technologies.”
“As NFC technology reaches into many new markets and industries, the NFC Forum is working to make the process as smooth and effective as possible by collaborating with leadership organizations that share our goals,” explains Koichi Tagawa, chairman of the NFC Forum. “These new agreements with Global Certification Forum, the International Air Transport Association, and the Wi-Fi Alliance will expedite the availability and use of more globally interoperable NFC-enabled solutions. We look forward to sharing long and productive partnerships with these organizations.”
Source: NFC World
NFC-enabled smartphones have the potential to replace nearly everything else in your pockets, so why not your car keys? Hyundai is working to do just that, with an embedded NFC tag that allows you to open your car, start the engine and link up to the touchscreen with a simple swipe.
Hyundai outfitted its i30 compact hatch (aka the Elantra in the States) with NFC technology in its “Connectivity Concept” recently shown at its European headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. The idea is simple: Nix the key fob and let your smartphone handle it all.
According to the Korean automaker, the driver can swipe their phone across an embedded NFC chip to unlock the car, and once inside, the place the phone in the center console, allowing the car to start, while an inductive charging plate keeps the juice flowing without needing to plug in.
“With this technology, Hyundai is able to harness the all-in-one functionality of existing smartphone technology and integrate it into everyday driving in a seamless fashion,” says Allan Rushforth, senior vice president and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe.
But unlocking and starting the car is only part of a wider connectivity solution for Hyundai.
Because the system can recognize different smartphones, it can customize the in-car experience to suit each driver’s seat, mirror and infotainment settings.
Once the phone is in the console, it links up with the 7-inch touchscreen mounted in the dash, and Hyundai is employing the Car Connectivity Consortium’s MirrorLink standard to automatically import contacts, navigation destinations, streaming audio and apps.
Despite forging dozens of automaker partnerships, MirrorLink hasn’t caught on with many manufacturers yet. That’s mainly due to concerns about driver distraction and how certain apps would be ported to the integrated screen, modifying the user interface to suit a more driver-focused experience. But that’s about to change as MirrorLink begins gaining momentum.
Hyundai and its connectivity partners at Broadcom are working to get this NFC- and MirrorLink-driven technology to market in its next generation of products, with the automaker claiming to have many of these systems in place by 2015.
RIM has been developing a system designed to securely manage credentials on SIM cards that will work on all types of various mobile devices to bring NFC payment capabilities to consumers.
EnStream LP, the joint venture between Bell Mobility Inc., Rogers Wireless Partnership and TELUS Communications Company announced today that RIM’s Secure Element Manager Solution is to be used to power NFC mobile payments in Canada.
“Working with EnStream, we’re delivering a service that will enable speed, security and convenience in mobile, contactless payment. RIM’s SEM solution will help deliver mobile payments and other NFC services to all carriers across all handset platforms that support NFC technology in Canada.” According to Andrew MacLeod, Managing Director for Canada at RIM.
RIM’s Secure Element Manager Solution to Power NFC Mobile Payments in Canada
WATERLOO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Oct. 22, 2012) – Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced that it has been selected by EnStream LP, a joint venture of Bell Mobility Inc., Rogers Wireless Partnership and TELUS Communications Company, to provide its Secure Element Manager (SEM) solution to manage credentials on wireless handsets in Canada that support Near Field Communication (NFC) services. NFC is the technology that can make secure, convenient and contactless mobile payments a reality for Canadian wireless handset users.
RIM’s SEM solution is designed to securely manage credentials on SIM (subscriber identity module) cards installed in all types of mobile devices, including BlackBerry® smartphones, Android™ devices, and Windows phones. “We selected RIM for their long-standing relationships with mobile operators and financial institutions, and their track record of operating a secure network for connected services,” said Almis Ledas, Chief Operating Officer of EnStream. “By adopting the secure GSMA Global Platform standard and using SEM infrastructure hosted and operated by RIM, consumers and financial institutions can have full confidence in financial credentials enabled through EnStream.”
“More than 1 in 4 smartphones shipped worldwide in 2013 is expected to include NFC technology,” said senior practice director Jeff Orr of market intelligence firm ABI Research. “With an additional 5 million NFC-enabled smartphones shipping to Canada next year and upwards of 65 million over the next 5 years, consumers will increasingly turn to mobile payments instead of a separate debit or credit card.”
“RIM is very pleased to play a key role in this Canadian mobile payments solution,” said Andrew MacLeod, Managing Director for Canada at RIM. “Working with EnStream, we’re delivering a service that will enable speed, security and convenience in mobile, contactless payment. RIM’s SEM solution will help deliver mobile payments and other NFC services to all carriers across all handset platforms that support NFC technology in Canada.”
Through the infrastructure that RIM’s SEM solution provides, financial institutions in Canada will have a single gateway allowing them to support any customer with an NFC-enabled smartphone that wants to enable a “mobile wallet” application. RIM’s SEM solution provides the infrastructure that will securely manage information credentials for NFC payments, which can be used by any financial institution, carrier, or smartphone.
“For banks and for Canadian consumers, RIM’s SEM solution is designed to make payment with your smartphone both seamless and secure. Whether you’re filling your gas tank, picking up a coffee, or buying groceries, making a purchase will be as simple as tapping your smartphone,” added MacLeod.
RIM has been recognized as a leader in providing mobile payments for some time with BlackBerry smartphones becoming one of the first smartphones to be certified for SIM-secure NFC payments using MasterCard PayPass®, and are also approved for use with Visa® payWave. More recently, RIM announced the ability to use NFC-enabled BlackBerry smartphones to replace access badges for buildings with secure entry requirements.
Currently, a range of BlackBerry® 7 smartphones, including the BlackBerry® Bold™ series and select BlackBerry® Curve™ smartphones, are NFC-enabled.
About Research In Motion
Research In Motion (RIM), a global leader in wireless innovation, revolutionized the mobile industry with the introduction of the BlackBerry® solution in 1999. Today, BlackBerry products and services are used by millions of customers around the world to stay connected to the people and content that matter most throughout their day. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. RIM is listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market (NASDAQ:RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX:RIM). For more information, visit www.rim.com or www.blackberry.com.
Forward-looking statements in this news release are made pursuant to the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities laws. When used herein, words such as “expect”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “may”, “will”, “should”, “intend,” “believe”, and similar expressions, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on estimates and assumptions made by RIM in light of its experience and its perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors that RIM believes are appropriate in the circumstances. Many factors could cause RIM’s actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including those described in the “Risk Factors” section of RIM’s Annual Information Form, which is included in its Annual Report on Form 40-F (copies of which filings may be obtained at www.sedar.com or www.sec.gov). These factors should be considered carefully, and readers should not place undue reliance on RIM’s forward-looking statements. RIM has no intention and undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited. RIM, Research In Motion and BlackBerry are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and may be pending or registered in other countries. All other brands, product names, company names, trademarks and service marks are the properties of their respective owners. RIM assumes no obligations or liability and makes no representation, warranty, endorsement or guarantee in relation to any aspect of any third party products or services.
Prague-based company Logomotion has launched a microSD card that can be used to add NFC mobile payments capabilities to standard mobile phones using two secure elements.
The microSD device is the LGM Card and it has been designed to work with a wide range of mobile phones. According to Logomotion this is, “including those where the SD slots are in seemingly problematic locations, such as under the device’s battery or under a protective metal outer cover”.
The company adds that there are new revenue opportunities for banks because of the patent-pending dual secure element architecture of the LGM Card.
“The issuing bank personalizes one payment chip using normal card account data of a customer,” says Dave Riffelmacher, CEO of Logomotion. “The second payment chip is pre-personalized with a virtual POS terminal which enables secure, profitable micro payments with smaller merchants and at mobile content internet shops using the customer’s account data.”
The LGM Card is available in small sample quantities now, before there is mass market production of the NFC-enabled microSD card which is due to begin during the first quarter of 2013. “In mass market quantities, the price of LGM Card will not be significantly higher than the price of normal memory cards with comparable memory capacity,” says Riffelmacher.
Youtube Video demonstrating acoustic barcodes and showing different ways this technology can be used.
These acoustic barcodes are really pretty cool and there seems to be some useful ways they can be used in everyday life. Though with technology like NFC and QR Codes this might not be the easiest way to transfer information. But the acoustic barcodes don’t require any sort of special technology on the phone side, not even a camera, which could be a big feature.
The idea behind the acoustic barcodes is basically the same as a regular barcode, an app easily converts the different dots and dashes to a data value, similar the squares of a QR code. But with the acoustic barcodes the data that is converted is retrieved from sounds.
Using a phone, pen or any other object really you slide the object across a series of grooves that creates a unique, identifiable snippet of sound that is read by the app and converted. Like Morse code for machines.
The examples given on the above video really show that there are almost unlimited possibilities to using this cool technology, but we probably still won’t see this being used often with all the easier forms of technology that are being built into phones now.