Monday, April 30, 2007

Integrate the GPS into a Tiny Sim Card

"Start-up company BlueSky Positioning is set to help mobile operators meet new European Union emergency call legislation, and could also help realise the promise of location-based services (LBS) across the wireless industry. Launching today, BlueSky Positioning new approach incorporates a highly accurate GPS receiver and proprietary antenna into the SIM card."

Following publication of a significantly strengthened EU directive, expected later this year, EU member countries will have just 18 months to implement a law requiring operators to identify the precise location of callers to the E-112 emergency services, potentially to an accuracy level of just a few metres.

Enabling high-accuracy location technology could be an enormous challenge for operators - there are 500 million mobile phone users in the EU. To comply with this legislation would mean a massive handset upgrade programme – a hugely expensive and complicated task.

BlueSky Positioning has developed patent-pending technology and processes to embed Assisted Global Positioning System (A-GPS) capability in the SIM card (USIM in the case of 3G handsets), with minimal impact on signal strength and battery life. This means that operators need only replace the SIM cards, not the phones themselves – a far more manageable solution.

Barclays targets taxis with wave-and-pay tech

"Barclays and Computer Cab have teamed up to develop a near field communication payments system for taxis, where passengers can pay for a fare by pressing their NFC-equipped credit or debit card against a reader, in the same way many Londoners pay for fares with an Oyster card."

Winners of the first European NFC competition

"The NFC Forum, a non-profit industry association that advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, and the SmartTouch project, have announced the winners of “Touching the Future,” the first European NFC competition."

Previous articles:
Point In Time has been accepted for presentation
WIMA 2007 NFC Competition Finalists Announcement

Prague or Berlin ? Behind the scenes of the SIM industry

"Undoubtedly, the NFC-related hype that surrounds the SIM industry has a long way to go, given that it will take another five years for NFC-enabled handsets to reach critical mass. Perhaps it’s wiser to reflect on the many uses that the SIM can be put to, utilising not tomorrow’s, but today’s technology, such as T-Mobile’s use of the SIM for m-banking applications supported by 80% of banks in the Czech Republic."

Paying by mobile, that’ll do nicely

Not satisfied with replacing your landline, MP3 player, camera and alarm clock, mobile phone manufacturers have now set their sights on supplanting your wallet. Their new generation of phones will link to your credit or debit account as part of a joint initiative with phone operators, banks and credit card companies. They predict this one-swipe payment technology will potentially replace cards and cash and make it possible to go shopping armed only with a mobile phone.

Spain's collection agents practice public humiliation


"In fact, the success of the Cobrador del Frac has spawned a slew of rival companies: Town Criers, Buddhas, and even Pink Panthers.

The Monastery of Collection is one of them. Of its 28 employees, four regularly dress as 16th-century monks, though in special situations – such as a recent collection against the municipal government of Madrid for failure to pay its cleaning services – the company will send out extra monks."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

KDDI to Offer Hitachi Mobile Phone with Fingerprint Sensor


"Hitachi's new 'win' series phone, the W51H, will integrate AuthenTec's AES1510 fingerprint sensor as a standard feature.

Additionally the sensor enables secure and convenient near field communication (NFC) transactions used for mobile ticketing and check in, stored value, mobile credit, and Internet commerce payments."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Mouse brain simulated on computer

"US researchers have simulated half a virtual mouse brain on a supercomputer

The vast complexity of the simulation meant that it was only run for ten seconds at a speed ten times slower than real life - the equivalent of one second in a real mouse brain.

The researchers say that although the simulation shared some similarities with a mouse's mental make-up in terms of nerves and connections it lacked the structures seen in real mice brains."

Not quite there yet then

Virtual Gun Sells for $7,501 Dollars

"It seems that a heated bidding war broke out during the auction for the Improved M2870. Sixty-six bids were placed on this handgun with the top bidder being Da. His winning bid was $7,501.00 dollars or 75001 PEDs (Project Entropia Dollars.)"

Friday, April 27, 2007

Momentum builds around GSMA’s pay-buy mobile project

Nokia, the world’s largest mobile phone maker, and a further 10 mobile operators have thrown their weight behind a GSM Association initiative to enable the worldwide use of mobile phones for payments at retail outlets.

KPN, Maxis Communications Bhd, mobilkom austria, O2, Orange, SFR, SingTel, SKT, Vodafone and Wind have joined the 14 mobile operators* that initiated the project in February. The handset vendors in the programme include Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, which both plan to participate in the first trials scheduled to begin in October.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Astronomers may have found the first Earth 2

"For the first time, astronomers have spotted a cosy alien planet that might be hospitable to life. The planet is not much bigger than the Earth, and it enjoys balmy temperatures of about 20 C (68 F) as well as spectacular scarlet sunsets.

'It's the smallest, lightest planet known at this time,' says Stéphane Udry from the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland. 'And it's just at the right distance from its star for liquid water to possibly exist on its surface.'"

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Welcome joins Near Field Communication Forum

"Welcome, leader in card marketing at the moment of payment , announced today that it has joined the Near Field Communication (NFC) Forum, a non-profit industry association advancing the use of NFC technology, as an Associate member."

Mobile phone ticketing enters new phase

"Working closely with project partners YourRail, Cubic Transportation Systems, Mobiqa and ts.com, Chiltern Railways is the first rail company in the UK to offer barcodes on mobile phones as an alternative to paper tickets."

JupiterResearch Finds Limited Consumer Interest in Mobile Banking

JupiterResearch has found that despite renewed efforts on the part of financial institutions, overall interest in mobile banking services is limited. Just eight percent of online consumers who own a cell phone are interested in using mobile browsing to check account balances.


And to be honest I'm not surprised, why would anyone need to check their bank balance by mobile phone. Of course there is a big push here from the financial institutes to scrap ATMs.

Plans for SIM Storage in NFC Handsets

"Vodafone and the smart card manufacturer, Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) have announced that they plan to jointly develop a secure storage element for NFC-enabled mobile phones. This element, intended for trusted applications in NFC mobile devices, is the SIM card, with Vodafone and G&D driving the necessary standardization forward."

NFC in the real world - Moving to System on Chip Integration

"According to Innovision Research & Technology, creators of Topaz for NFC, the most effective way to integrate NFC into mass-market electronics devices is through System on Chip (SoC) implementation in other common chipsets, for instance Bluetooth, WiFi and Ultra Wide Band."

Universal Envelope Identifier - "Smart Stamp" Technology Converges Internet and Mobile Phones with U.S. Postal Mail

"The Append microchip-based 'Smart Stamp' system links supplemental text, audio and video files to envelopes. Elliot Klein of Intellareturn Corp. declared this will one day 'transform how we utilize envelopes and the postal mail.' The Smart Stamp service can be sold as a book of self-adhesive labels or pre-manufactured into envelopes, taking envelope manufacturers into the wireless ecosystem with new business models to store, control and deliver rich-media content.

Using Near-Field Communication Technology ('NFC') and printed conductive ink antennas combined with mobile phones and other wireless reader devices, Append services bring a new intelligent mail 'Smart Stamp'service into the mailstream for adding supplemental text, pictures, audio and video to sent postal mail."

More haste, less speed

"As predicted the much vaunted aero upgrade promised by Nick Fry for Malaysia did not produce the miracle Honda clearly hoped for, and this was seen again in Bahrain where both cars performed dismally, a downward spiral of performance, eco marketing and driver morale."

Monday, April 23, 2007

We don't need no stinking NFC phones

"One can easily envisage a near future in which citizens are given a boring old-fashioned dreary plastic ID card by the state but have the option of downloading same into their phone for a few euros if they want to transact online."

Developing Practical Wireless Applications

It seems somewhat paradoxical that we feel obligated to create a new wireless product that will simplify our experience in some part of our business or private life. With a new wireless technology in mind we dutifully begin brainstorming to determine what we will ultimately create. On occasions the direction we take seems to be mired as we quandary over the value added proposition for the consumer. What benefit will it really bring? And, why ultimately should the consumer pick it up from the shelf and place it onto the counter ready for purchase?

A sense of practicality needs to be injected into the whole ‘making wireless products’ process as we choose to drive the future of wireless development forward. In that respect, Developing Practical Wireless Applications will guide the most eager of developer, the most fervent of business analyst, the most enthusiastic product planner and the most politically focused manager through choices in respect of which wireless technology to use. Ultimately, this book will guide you through each technology with an aim to enable you to make an educated choice regarding your would-be wireless product.

Furthermore, you will glean from the subsequent chapters a detailed breakdown of each technology. In some places you will find exposure, right down to the deepest of layers, enabling engineers to understand the inner workings of each technology, whilst intermediate readers will enjoy an understanding of the peripheral discussion surrounding a technology.


From free e-book: Developing Practical Wireless Applications

TouchPro

Over at eyeka someone called smo has uploaded various video presentations on NFC applications. TouchPro shows how the key holder industry is going to be changed by NFC.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

thesystemis




Drawn - an installation for hands and ink, zachary lieberman (2006)

Inside Contactless teams with Mobile Distillery for NFC development

"Inside Contactless, a leading provider of advanced, open standard contactless chip technologies, and leader in NFC technology, announced its partnership with Mobile Distillery, a specialist java mobile porting software company, to develop an interoperable Java ME solution for NFC developers."

London Contactless Launch: Where Are The Merchants?

"According to a Card Technology article (see “London Contactless Launch: Where Are The Merchants?”), no UK merchants have yet announced their intention to accept contactless cards, even though the planned launch is only six months away."

Why are merchants not on board yet?

Modified ink printer churns out electronic circuits

"A desktop printer loaded with a silver salt solution and vitamin C has been used to produce electronic circuits. The UK researchers behind the feat say their experimental device could pave the way for safer and cheaper electronics manufacturing."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Blinkx video search

Blinkx have changed a bit over the years and now they are offering a video search that includes using speech-recognition giving access to over 7 million hours of video. And the wall is a bit nifty


Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip 'Thou Shalt Always Kill'

Tracient and Narian Technologies Introduced a New NFC Enabler

Tracient and Narian Technologies Introduced a New NFC Enabler:

"NFC has been a buzz word for many years and has hit a climax at the recent CTIA conference. There are literally 1000's of applications for this technology, but NFC Capable Phones have not been widely available to make it a reality."

The hardware will be produced in packaged and module forms, one of which measures a mere 25mm x 25mm (1" x 1"). The unit can be placed ergonomically to 100's of millions of current phones today and make them fully NFC Capable. With a device slightly larger than a Postage Stamp, consumers can now be offered the full capabilities of NFC such as Virtual Card, Machine to Machine Communication, RFID Read/Write, and much more.

In volume orders the price point is dramatically affordable at around $36 per unit.

A Thought, Please, For the Non-Techie User

"Question: 'Will you be putting an NFC die in your Bluetooth package to do the pairing?'
Answer: 'For non-technical users we might'."

'Deflector' shields could protect future astronauts

"Magnetic 'deflector shields' could one day guard astronauts against dangerous space radiation, if experiments now underway pay off."

Shape-shifting 'smart dust' may explore alien worlds

"Thousands of miniscule wireless sensors, or 'smart dust', could one-day be used to explore other planets, swirling across the landscape by subtly altering their shape. At least, that's the exotic vision put forward in new computer simulations."

Fall Colors on Alien Worlds

"In the next decade, when scientists are able to study Earth-sized worlds around other stars, they may find that foliage on some of the planets is predominantly yellow--or orange, or red. It all depends on the color of the star the planet orbits and the stuff that makes up the planet's atmosphere."

Finding Earth's Twin

"NASA researchers have successfully demonstrated in the laboratory that a space telescope rigged with special masks and mirrors could snap a photo of an Earth-like planet orbiting a nearby star. This accomplishment marks a dramatic step forward for missions like the proposed Terrestrial Planet Finder, designed to hunt for an Earth twin that might harbor life."

Three simulated planets - one as bright as Jupiter, one half as bright as Jupiter and one as faint as Earth - stand out plainly in this image created from a sequence of 480 images captured by the High Contrast Imaging Testbed at JPL. The asterisk marks the location of the system's simulated star.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Water in Extrasolar Planet's Atmosphere

"For the first time, water has been identified in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet. Through a combination of previously published Hubble Space Telescope measurements and new theoretical models, Lowell Observatory astronomer Travis Barman has found strong evidence for water absorption in the atmosphere of transiting planet HD209458b."

Tibetan Microbe Mats

Searching for clues to the potential for life on Mars, NASA scientists recently explored microbial communities in some of the world's oldest, driest and most remote deserts in China's northwest region, and found evidence suggesting that conditions there may be similar to those in certain regions of Mars.

NASA photographs recently revealed bright new deposits seen in two martian gullies, like this one in a crater in the Centauri Montes Region. The images suggest that water carried sediment through them sometime during the past seven years.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems

Things to watch

Wordplay focuses on the man most associated with crossword puzzles, New York Times puzzle editor and NPR Puzzle Master Will Shortz. Director Patrick Creadon introduces us to this passionate hero, and to the inner workings of his brillant and often hilarious contributors, including syndicated puzzle creater Merl Reagle.



Helvetica is a feature-length independent film about typography, graphic design and global visual culture. It looks at the proliferation of one typeface (which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year) as part of a larger conversation about the way type affects our lives.

wefeelfine


we feel fine

An analysis of feelings in blogs

Russia builds first floating nuke station

Russia builds first floating nuke station:

"RUSSIA has begun to build the world's first floating nuclear power plant despite warnings from environmentalists that it risks creating a disaster.

The £100 million ($239 million) vessel, the Lomonosov, is the first of seven plants that Moscow says will bring vital energy resources to remote Russian regions as well as potential foreign markets."

Sunday, April 15, 2007

ViVOtech Ranks First in ABI Contactless Reader Vendor Matrix

ViVOtech Ranks First in ABI Contactless Reader Vendor Matrix:

"ViVOtech Inc. has been ranked at the top of the latest Contactless Reader Vendor Matrix released by ABI Research. Verifone Inc. and OTI (On Track Innovations) Ltd. claimed the second and third spots in the company's most recent evaluation of worldwide contactless reader vendors. "

The problem of multiple contactless cards in your wallet

will consumers choose to have only one?:

"Tim Jones recently described the problem of NFC enabled mobile phones programmed with multiple payment cards and rewards cards, and how the POS would not know which card to process. The same problem of course exists with having multiple contactless cards in your wallet, a situation which is far more likely to occur in the very near future than running around with a mobile phone loaded with lots of cards. "

ABI Research Scales Back NFC Adoption Forecast

ABI Research Scales Back NFC Adoption Forecast:

"In its latest analysis of the Near Field Communication market titled 'Near Field Communications (NFC): Leveraging Contactless for Mobile Payments, Content and Access', ABI Research forecasts that by 2012, some 292 million handsets – just over 20 percent of the global mobile handset market – will ship with built in NFC capabilities. "

Digital Money Blog

I wonder if mobile phones will really catch on?:

"Internet banking enabled people to access their banking electronically only if they had been banked before, whereas mobile banking is leading to a revolution where people are being banked who never had a banking relationship in the past."

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?:

"It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But some scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive food shortages, as the world's harvests fail.

They are putting forward the theory that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to one of the more bizarre mysteries ever to happen in the natural world - the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops. Late last week, some bee-keepers claimed that the phenomenon - which started in the US, then spread to continental Europe - was beginning to hit Britain as well."

Friday, April 13, 2007

Red Square nebula displays exquisite symmetry


Red Square nebula displays exquisite symmetry:

"A newly discovered nebula, called the 'Red Square', displays a dazzling, gem-like symmetry, new observations reveal. But the nature of the star or stars that produced it remains a mystery."

Saturday, April 07, 2007

12touch


12touch

The world's very first wireless keyboard without the need for a battery. Using NFC to connect, you just place the phone in the center of the keyboard and type away. Seems you can roll it up for transporting and being waterproof I can use it in the bath.

A look inside the new IAC Headquarters

Vimeo / A look inside the new IAC Headquarters :

"

Google Maps Introduce MyMaps

Google Maps Introduce MyMaps

As placemarks created in Google Earth are now viewable in Google Maps (KML format) it was only a matter of time before the ability to create your own placemarks and share them with other people was made available through Google Maps. The link above shows an example of life around the Googleplex.

Friday, April 06, 2007

NFC Forum : WIMA 2007 NFC Competition Finalists Announcement

NFC Forum: WIMA press release:

Organisers of the European Near Field Communication (NFC) Competition to be held on April 18 at the European NFC Developers Summit during WIMA 2007 have announced the competition shortlist.

The first European NFC Competition has attracted more than 50 high quality submissions from 13 countries including Finland, France, Hungary, Israel, England, Spain, Norway, USA, Germany, Slovenia, the Netherlands, Austria and Turkey, which the judging panel has now whittled down to 14 finalists.


Point In Time made it through to Track A: Best NFC Implementation of the Year 2007

Citibank Introduces Citi Mobile Banking Service For Cellphone

Citibank Introduces Citi Mobile Banking Service For Cellphone

Citibank, the retail banking arm of Citigroup, said Monday it's starting a mobile banking service that customers can download to their cellphones.

The service, Citi Mobile, will be introduced in Southern California and should be available throughout the United States by midyear, bank executives told a news conference in New York. Citi joins other U.S. financial institutions that are rolling out wireless banking applications.

Mobile Payment Presentations At Mobile Monday Paris

Various presenations from the Mobile Monday Paris April 2nd 2007:

Inside Contactless / Needs in NFC Enable Mobile payment

Digitick / Mobile ticketing

M-Bank Safe/ Mobile payments in Belgium

Motes Project

Tim Baker from Inside ContactLess on NFC

A video interview over at Franck Perrier's with Tim Baker

Tim Baker presented Inside ContactLess, a semiconducteur provider, also a 12 year old startup (yes!), developing technologies - NFC (Near Field Communication)- about to emerge in everyone’s day-to-day life. You’re about to use your phone to pay, travel, enter theaters etc. Nothing new about the concept. All about execution. Tim tells us that the pilots around the world are about to move to their next phase of deployment.