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Tagtual The one stop shop for NFC - Near Field Communication - News

Tagtual The one stop shop for NFC - Near Field Communication

Saracens fans get contactless payment wristbands

Softcard, the US carrier-backed NFC venture formerly known as Isis, won’t have access to the NFC support in the new iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch until 2015, a blog post by CEO Michael Abbott suggests — and, even then, it looks as though it won’t be via a conventional NFC-enabled SIM. NFC Business Cards 


“We would like to let you know that we are actively working with Apple to enable Softcard on the iPhone in 2015 — using an integrated secure SIM-based hardware solution” Abbott says in the post.


“When our company was founded, our vision was to develop a simple wallet app that consumers could use on any device, anywhere with any card,” he adds. “To deliver on that promise, we selected NFC as the best technology that was secure, simple and open to innovation.


“We think that today’s announcement by Apple to support NFC is very significant and sets the stage for rapid scale adoption of mobile commerce.”


No further details on what “an integrated secure SIM-based hardware solution” might be, or any other aspects of Softcard’s work with Apple, are being made available by the company at this time, its public relations agency says.


The solution described by those carefully chosen words does not sound like a SIM, however, as that is removable, but it does sound like some sort of embedded technology — and an Apple patent application from 2011 may point the way to understanding the iPhone maker’s plans here.


The “Sim within” patent set out a way for a virtual SIM card to be built into an embedded secure element which could, in turn, be attached to an NFC controller chip.


The Apple concept is similar in nature to the NFC SIMs issued by mobile network operators bringing NFC to market around the world — except it is in reverse. In an NFC SIM, the NFC secure element sits inside the SIM, putting the carrier in overall control of a phone’s NFC functionality.


In Apple’s concept, the SIM sits inside the embedded secure element, putting the iPhone maker in overall control of the unit and bringing in a trusted service manager (TSM) to provision customer credentials onto the unit on a carriers’ behalf.


NFC World+ has asked both Apple and the GSMA for comment and/or confirmation and we will update readers as soon as we have a response.

Source: http://www.nfcworld.com/2014/09/10/331463/support-carriers-nfc-sims-apple-devices/

Qualcomm and NXP team up for NFC on Snapdragon platforms

Qualcomm Technologies is working with NXP to integrate NXPs NFC and embedded secure element (eSE) solutions into reference designs for its Snapdragon 800, 600, 400 and 200 processor-based platforms, mobile chipsets which already lie at the heart of more than one billion devices. NFC Business Cards

The two companies have set out a joint roadmap for future products, and marrying NXPs NFC expertise with Qualcomms central position in the mobile device industry means that device manufacturers will benefit from reduced design complexity, lower design cost and time savings as they design NFC into their products.

The agreement will enable the rapid introduction of NFC and eSE on Snapdragon-based devices to meet market demands for increased functionality in a broad range of consumer applications, the companies explain, pointing to segments such as mobile payments, digital identity, automotive and the internet of things.

The first fruit of the collaboration is the NQ220 module, derived from the recently launched NXP PN66T, and “designed to enable service providers to easily deliver new applications by simplifying the process of deploying credentials to devices, significantly reducing design costs and time-to-market considerations for mobile wallets and additional applications such as prepaid payment, transit and access control.

NXPs NQ series will include standalone NFC products in the NQ210 line and combination NFC and secure element products in the NQ220 line.

If you look at it from an OEM standpoint, when they start to integrate NFC or when they try to integrate NFC and the secure element together on the platform, you can see they have struggles with issues around how the whole end-to-end system works, Qualcomm product manager Neeraj Bhatia explained to NFC World.

“All of these changes require integration at the software level, at the hardware level, so we’re going to solve all of these problems together and, essentially, offer a turnkey solution to the OEM so that they can start from a really high bar in terms of what they can bring to market themselves.”

If an OEM wants to work with a different provider, we’re not going to refuse that,” Bhatia continued. Any OEM could put together an NFC product from a third party and a Qualcomm processor on their design but the reality is, theyre struggling with the whole end-to-end use case. That’s the reason why we feel the need for us to work a lot closer together and NXP, being a leader in this space, is the best partner for us.

By working together, we’re solving some basic problems which cannot be either solved by NXP or by Qualcomm alone. We can accelerate service adoption significantly by getting ove these basic hurdles. These are things that I don’t think individual NFC companies can do themselves. What makes this really exciting for us is that we have a joint roadmap together with NXP.

One of the key value propositions of a Qualcomm reference design is that we do as much precertification as possible on the platforms, even before the customer gets that platform, says Bhatia. We test our platforms with multiple operators, we do end-to-end TSM testing. The joint reference designs we have with NXP, we’ll be taken them through the certifications as well. Customers can significantly benefit from the end-to-end and certifications that we do. They will have 80%-90% leverage on certification.

We continue to see the market use and acceptance of NFC grow daily, with new applications being created at an astounding rate, says Rafael Sotomayor, senior vice president at NXP. Collaborating with Qualcomm Technologies to provide full eSE and NFC functionality on it’s industry-leading platforms will further expand this growth potential.

By working together, each company is able better to focus on its respective area of expertise, ensuring the industry receives a best-in-class, robust, tested and certified solution that can be designed in quickly by OEMs with minimal effort.

Source:http://www.nfcworld.com/2015/05/05/335060/qualcomm-and-nxp-team-up-for-nfc-on- snapdragon-platforms/

MCX confirms it will launch CurrentC this summer in a mid-sized market

Retailer owned mobile payments consortium MCX has confirmed to NFC World that it will launch its CurrentC mobile wallet in an unspecified mid-sized US market soon, following the announcement that founder member Best Buy will begin to accept rival mobile payments service Apple Pay in its stores later this year. NFC Business Cards


MCX expects to launch an early-stage version of the CurrentC app in mid-2015, in a mid-sized market, to help them develop and enhance functionality and user experience, the consortium said. The market will be determined based on a number of factors, including retail support, infrastructure and consumer population.


Best Buy remains a strong MCX partner and supporter of the CurrentC initiative, MCX chief operating officer Scott Rankin said in a statement sent to NFC World. “At MCX, our core values stem from the customer. Our mission is to create an experience where the customer is empowered and at the center of every action.


With that in mind, we understand — and strongly support — our merchant partners quest to do what’s best for their customers. As we have stated in the past, we are of the firm belief that there needs to be at least two to three major players within the mobile payments ecosystem for it to succeed.


We remain steadfast and passionate about CurrentC, as well as completely focused on delivering the best mobile commerce solution for our merchant partners and for consumers.

Source: http://www.nfcworld.com/2015/04/28/335012/mcx-confirms-it-will-launch-currentc- this-summer-in-a-mid-sized-market/

Thinfilm shows printed NFC smart label with temperature sensor

Printed electronics specialist Thinfilm has demonstrated an NFC-enabled label that includes a temperature sensor, which can be used to track a product throughout its journey to a store and report on whether or not the item has exceeded a particular temperature threshold at any point. The demonstration, which shows the wireless capture of threshold excursion data from a temperature-sensing smart label, was presented by Davor Sutija, Thinfilm CEO, at Lopec, the international conference and exhibition for printed electronics. NFC Business Cards


Because the smart label contains a unique ID in addition to the sensor data, it is possible to log the alert in a cloud-based application for further analysis, Thinfilm explains.


If [retailers] have a shipment of blackberries, for example, they will be able to tell which ones received the most heat exposure in the truck and therefore which ones have the lowest shelf-life, so those will be the ones that you would want to shelf first, Jennifer Ernst, executive VP of sale and business development at Thinfilm, explained to NFC World+.


The data is being updated inside the label and all of the electronics are self-contained inside the label. So, it is an active monitoring system. For example, during the course of the shipment of a product, the label is actively gathering that information and monitoring for temperature excursion, independent of any infrastructure.


Consider a wine product, Ernst continued. Because you have the NFC identification, you can use this for verification. You can also monitor whether the wine was exposed during shipment. The labels are themselves intended to be disposable, one-time use, short lifespan-type applications, so [relevant for] things where you want to know something over the course of a few days time, a week’s time, perhaps as long as a month.


They are intended really to be things that are embedding intelligence in objects to which, typically, you would not be able to add that structure. What we were excited about in using the NFC technology is the simplicity of the architecture surrounding it. It is the ability to really break from the hard-wired infrastructure.


We also see areas like healthcare; being able to embed sensor elements that can be used as a diagnostic test, that can be used as a monitoring test and then, with an NFC-enabled phone, being able to tap and get that record right up into, for example, an electronic medical record. I think this will really start to open up some exciting possibilities.


It is the Internet of Things in the palm of my hand, that is really the way I think about it, Ernst added. “In one hand is my object and in the other hand is my phone, and connecting them both. That is the Internet of Everything.”


Source: http://www.nfcworld.com/2014/05/28/329390/thinfilm-shows-printed-nfc-smart-label -temperature-sensor/

VivaLnk develops digital tattoos that unlock NFC phones

Moto X phone owners can now protect access to their mobile using a digital tattoo developed by VivaLnk that can be positioned on the wrist and stays in place for five days.

NFC Business Cards


The Vivalnk tattoos are 25mm diameter circular stickers just 160µm thick and use medical grade adhesives from 3M to attach to the users skin. The tattoos come in packs of ten — about a months supply — and each pack costs US$$9.99.


Motorolas Moto X is an Android smartphone which can be unlocked with an NFC tag. Multiple smartphones can be paired with each tattoo and up to five digital tattoos can be paired with a single Moto X device, Vivalnk says.


The eSkin technology used in the tattoos was developed by Vivalnk in collaboration with Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects group.


Source: http://www.nfcworld.com/2014/06/30/330060/vivalnk-develops-digital-tattoos-unlock -nfc-phones/

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