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  • Editing Team 18:23 on December 5, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mobile Phone,   

    New NFC Smart Rear Covers Let Users Change Smartphone Settings Automatically 

    Jolla-The-Other-Half-NFC-smartphone-settings-rfid-blogFinnish phone maker Jolla’s new smartphone is to ship with a selection of smart rear covers, known as “The Other Half”, that include NFC and are used to automatically change the device’s settings and functions to the user’s preset favorites.

    “The NFC antenna on the phone is solely dedicated for the connection between the device and its back cover,” according to Jolla.

    “The Other Half is a new product concept, developed by Jolla. When connecting the back cover with the device, the product instantly adapts the whole ambience and functionalities — such as colors, fonts, tones, profiles, applications.”

    Jolla has also worked on more advanced designs for The Other Half that would incorporate USB ports, additional batteries and full QWERTY keyboards, the company says.

    The phone runs Jolla’s own Sailfish operating system and can run both Android apps and dedicated Sailfish apps. The €399 (US$540) device boasts a 4.5-inch HD display, eight megapixel rear camera and 16GB of internal storage.

  • Editing Team 16:03 on September 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Mobile Phone, , Xiaomi   

    Xiaomi Announces Mi3 Smartphone with NFC 


    Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has announced the Mi3, a 5-inch NFC smartphone that is the first to use Nvidia’s 1.8GHz Tegra 4 quad core processor.

    Three versions will be made available; one for China Mobile’s network using the Nvidia processor, to be launched in October; and one each for China Unicom and China Telecom which will ship in November with a Qualcomm 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 quad core chipset.

    The Mi3 will be offered with either 16 or 64GB of storage and all models will have a 5-inch 1080p screen and offer a 13 megapixel main camera teamed with a two megapixel front camera.

    Dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity is built in, and the device runs Xiaomi’s Miui v5 flavour of Android 4.2.

    The 16GB model is 1999RMB (US$325) and the 64GB is 2499RMB (US$410) and availability in Hong Kong and Taiwan is expected to follow the Chinese mainland release.

    Last month senior Android executive Hugo Barra left Google to join the fast-growing Xiaomi, which is fast building a reputation as a manufacturer of desirable, well-specified and high-quality Android devices.

  • Editing Team 11:49 on September 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mobile Phone, , ,   

    Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with NFC 

    Samsung-Galaxy-Note-3-NFC-rfid-blogSamsung has unveiled its latest Galaxy smartphone, the Note 3, an NFC-enabled handset with a 5.7-inch full HD Amoled display and 13 megapixel camera which can capture 1080p video at 60 frames per second.

    A 4G LTE model has a 2.3GHz quad core processor while a 3G variant will use a 1.9GHz eight core system-on-chip.

    Both versions will run Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and include a front-facing 2MP camera to complement the larger rear one, which is able to capture 4K video dependent on the model. Samsung’s Smart Stabilization technology will be used by both cameras.

    The Note 3 will include an updated version of the S Pen stylus that can operate a new Air Command feature to give quick access to a palette of tools including scrapbooking, memo writing and multi-tasking.

    As well as NFC, Bluetooth and its LE variant will be included. Samsung Knox, the company’s TEE-based security solution, will be preloaded.

    The Note 3 will be available in 149 countries from 25 September, with an October release date scheduled for the US and Japanese markets.

  • Editing Team 09:47 on August 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mobile Phone,   

    One Third of Smartphones Sold Globally This Year Will Support NFC 

    New report from Strategy Analytics shows that the number of NFC phones shipped will increase 156% in 2013 to a total of 400 million devices globally, which means that 1/3 of the smartphones sold globally this year will support NFC.

    “The drivers for this are falling prices for NFC technology, making it more affordable to integrate into devices, support from key vendors such as Google, Samsung, Apple, and Nokia and influential mobile trade body the GSMA.” said Ken Hyers, author of the report.

    “What we are not seeing yet is strong consumer-side demand for NFC solutions. This is sort of a chicken-and-egg issue; until the installed base of NFC-capable devices is large enough, there’s not enough consumer demand.”

    “By the end of 2013 there will be nearly 400 million NFC-capable smartphones in people’s hands — that’s around 5% of the world’s total population — and that does create a large enough installed base for developers to create the contactless payment applications, mobile wallet services, integrate NFC into connected home and car products and develop other innovative services that will spark consumer demand for NFC.”

    He added: “The installed base will be largest in the Asia Pacific region — particularly Japan and South Korea, followed by North America and Western Europe. Longer term, we see Africa and other emerging markets becoming more important as NFC-supported mobile payment solutions make it easier for consumers to engage in mobile banking and shopping.”

    “Personally, I think that NFC-related services, and more generally smartphone apps, for emerging markets are most exciting. Here in the developed world where everyone is connected through multiple devices, we have no shortage of avenues for banking, entertainment, etc. In developing markets, there’s a greater need for connected services that allow for the free flow of information and payments, and NFC could be a key tool that helps folks to exchange that information.”

  • Editing Team 12:04 on July 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Mobile Phone, ,   

    Apple NFC Rumors Return 

    Apple-iPhone5S-NFC-rumors-rfid-blogThe next iPhone, the so-called iPhone 5S, is expected to be launched on September. Recently a new round of rumors that the next iPhone will include NFC has begun to appear. The rumors are based on two sources, one in the U.S. and one in China.

    The US source is an anonymous reader of PhoneArena who has told the blog that an entry has appeared in carrier Verizon’s database for “4G LTE nano NFC SIM cards”.

    The second source is Sina Weibo blogger C Technology, who has posted photos of parts of what could be the next iPhone. The lines visible in the lower half of the image are being explained by some as belonging to an NFC antenna.

    What do readers think? Are there any grounds here for thinking Apple might at last be planning to support NFC?

  • Editing Team 15:25 on July 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mobile Phone, , ,   

    Far EasTone Launches Low-cost Android NFC Smartphone in Taiwan 

    Taiwan-Far-EasTone-Vodafone-Android-NFC-smartphone-rfid-blogMobile network operator Far EasTone has teamed with Vodafone to launch a low-cost Android NFC smartphone in Taiwan in preparation for its NFC payments pilot later this year.

    Far EasTone has already purchased some 10,000 units of the Vodafone Smart III handset, reports Focus Taiwan, which will retail at NT$4,990 (US$166) when it goes on sale later this month.

    “We are likely to see more mid- to entry-level NFC phones available in the market in the future,” says Far EasTone president Yvonne Li. “But it will take some time because these phones have to be built in accordance with certain technological standards and complete many security tests.”

    The launch is a push towards the carrier’s NFC payments project, which will start with a trial period for employees of the Far EasTone Group at the end of July, adds Li.

    Far EasTone says it will purchase between 1.7m and 1.8m smartphones this year, with half of these being NFC-enabled.

  • Editing Team 09:27 on April 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Mobile Phone, ,   

    Rumor: Apple’s iPhone 5S Will Come with NFC 

    Apple-iPhone5S-NFC-rfid-blogMany people were disappointed when iPhone 5 was released without NFC capability, but now there is a rumor saying that NFC tag will be a must-have feature in iPhone 5S.

    People want quick settings: they want their Wi-Fi to be on as soon as they reach home; they want to switch off all alerts when they go to bed. With NFC, we believe Apple can make up for all of those, and more.

    As we know, NFC tags can be programmed to cause any reaction from the device we want upon being tapped.

    Imagine having tags that change certain settings (Wi-Fi, location, Bluetooth, DND), launch certain apps (Maps when you plug your iPhone into your car, alarm when you do the same with your bedside dock) at a tap’s notice.

    Also, pre-programmed ones can be placed strategically at various locations. Tapping the Starbucks door can fire up Passbook. The same goes for check-in counters at airports. Food eateries can have their web-pages or apps pop up when you tap their tables.

    There are a lot more possibilities out there, but above all, Apple must make it a reality.

  • Editing Team 16:27 on January 31, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mobile Phone,   

    BlackBerry Announces Two Smartphones with NFC Capabilities 

    BlackBerry-Z10-Q10-smartphone-NFC-rfid-blogYesterday, BlackBerry has launched the first two smartphones running the new BlackBerry 10 operating system. Both include full NFC payments and information sharing capabilities. Although president and CEO Thorsten Heins did not go into any details at the launch event, he hinted that some kind of BlackBerry connectivity service making use of that NFC functionality could be on the horizon.

    RIM, which has changed its company name to BlackBerry, first added NFC capabilities to its platform with the launch of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 in May, 2011. Both devices run the BlackBerry 7 operating system.

    Details of BlackBerry 10’s support for NFC were first revealed in mid-2012 and a series of articles on using NFC on BlackBerry 10 have been published by the company on the BlackBerry Developer Support forums, including guides to reading and writing tags using native APIs, NFC card emulation and P2P communications.

    The two latest released phones are the 4.2-inch full touchscreen BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10, which features a physical keyboard and a 3.1-inch touchscreen. Both devices support LTE and include a 1.5GHz dual core processor.

    The Z10 is available in the UK from today, in Canada and the UAE in February and the US in March with availability in other countries to be announced. The Q10 will start shipping in April 2013.

  • Editing Team 15:28 on December 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mobile Phone,   

    Expert: Mobile Payment to Cut down Black Market Economies 

    NFC-mobile-payment-cut-down-black-market-economies-rfid-blogCash is used to fuel black market economies, which encompass tax evasion activities, drug dealing, and money laundering, said David Birch, head of the UK electronic transactions consultancy firm Consult Hyperion. He thinks the best way to address these issues is by replacing cash with mobile phones.

    “In a country like Norway, which is by no means a lawless country, something like 70 percent of all the money in circulation is only used for criminal purposes,” Birch said at the Future of Payments conference in Sydney. “Even in a relatively law abiding country like the UK, the black economy is heading towards becoming a quarter of the economy,” Birch said.

    With the rise of innovations such as NFC payments, Google Wallet, and Apple’s Passbook, Birch firmly believes that the mobile phone will be the only viable technology to supplant cash.

    “That’s because the mobile phone is a point-of-sale (POS) terminal, not because the mobile is a card,” he said.

    Smartphone uptake has soared in recent years, and nearly everybody in the world has a mobile phone. With everybody able to have a POS terminal in their hands, the idea of freeing ourselves from cash becomes a plausible outcome, according to Birch.

    The roll-on effect of a cashless society would be less money-related crime, according to Birch.

    He highlighted some of the anti-cash movements across Europe, which are driven by workers and retailers to stave off armed robberies.

    Birch thinks that thanks to the global financial crisis, which has lowered confidence in incumbent payment systems, there is now wider acceptance in using alternative currencies such as Bitcoin. Payment companies need to make a note of this trend if these alternative technologies continue to gain momentum, he said.

    “The idea that the US dollar is somehow more real than the Bristol pounds, or World of Warcraft gold pieces for that matter, is ludicrous,” Birch said.

  • Editing Team 01:14 on December 6, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Mobile Phone,   

    FloJack Brings NFC Capability to Apple Devices 


    As is known to many, iPhone 5 lacks NFC capability, which disappoints the NFC industry. Therefore, one group of developers aimed to do something about Apple’s omission. Startup NFC application developer Flomio has created the FloJack, a pocketsize, one-ounce dongle that serves as an NFC reader, able to be plugged into newer Apple mobile phones and iPod Touches, as well as iPad and Android devices.

    The FloJack plugs into an Apple device’s headphone jack, automatically pairing a user’s device with Flomio’s NFC Quick Actions suite of apps to enable NFC reads. “Every phone, PC and touchpad has one [jack],” says Tim Ronan, one of the company’s cofounders, “which means the FloJack can easily NFC-enable any iPhone, iPad, legacy Android phone or any other smartphone out there. It was meant to act as an invitation for everyone to join the NFC party.”

    The FloJack is compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S and 5 models, as well as the iPad, iPad 2 and iPad 3, along with the fourth and fifth generations of the iPod Touch.

    It is powered with the type of standard 3-volt lithium battery that can be purchased in stores. Because the dongle goes into sleep mode when not in use, the company estimates battery life at one year.

    For those looking to develop applications for the FloJack, the company also offers an Open FloJack software developer’s kit (SDK), to allow them to add NFC functionality to their iOS (iPhone-based mobile operating system) apps.

    If funding allows, the firm plans to begin a regulatory certification process for the device, and to start sourcing components manufacturers. By March 2013, the company expects mass production to be underway.

    According to the company, the FloJack is anticipated to cost $49, while the app to operate it would be free.

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