Zenius adds NFC to standard mobile phones with Bladox Waver

The Bladox Waver is a SIM+antenna solution that is currently being tested by 15 companies in Turkey, India and Europe and can be retrofitted to most mobile handsets, including the iPhone, Android and Blackberry phones.

BLADOX WAVER: 'A disruptive technology that extends near-term opportunity to a variety of industry players'
BLADOX WAVER: 'A disruptive technology that extends near-term opportunity to a variety of industry players'

Zenius Solutions has become the latest company to offer a way to add NFC functionality to standard mobile phones, using its ZeniusMobilePay software and an NFC device developed by Czech firm Bladox.

The solution supports multiple NFC applications, including Mastercard PayPass and Visa payWave, and enables NFC applications to be provisioned over-the-air.

The Bladox Waver product fits into the phone’s SIM slot on top of the original SIM card. “The add-on seamlessly and securely integrates with wallet applications on the mobile phone — allowing a consumer to control and access multiple applications dynamically, providing the same functionalities available in NFC capable phones,” says Zenius. “The application combinations that could be loaded remotely onto the Waver are diverse and endless, and the Zenius software design ensures that multiple applications — such as transport, payment, and coupons — will be interoperable and compatible.”

“This add-on with integrated Zenius software opens new revenue streams for card issuers, mobile network operators (MNO), trusted service managers (TSM), and numerous closed-loop solution providers,” explains John Wiese, CEO of Zenius Solutions.”Our solution is a disruptive technology that extends near-term opportunity to a variety of industry players.”

The company says the Bladox Waver is compatible with a wide range of mobile phones, including the iPhone, Android devices and Blackberry phones. “The flexible connector is placed between the SIM card and the phone or, we can say, below the SIM card,” Tomas Orlik, director of marketing and business development at Bladox, told NFCW. “The Bladox Waver main body consisting of the chips and the NFC antenna lays on the battery. Once the phone cover is closed up, the phone looks as before. We have different and detachable flexible connectors of different shapes in order to address different mechanical setups of the phones.”

The Bladox Waver became commercially available during the first quarter of 2009. “We currently produce thousands of units,” says Orlik, and the product is currently being used in 15 trial projects. “The trials are in the banking space, with some MNOs and mainly in Turkey, Western Europe and India,” Orlik added, but further details are not available as each is currently covered by a non-disclosure agreement. A mass production facility is to be added during the second quarter of 2010.

“We do have several flexible pricing schemas, which depend on volumes, types of projects and applications, revenue generation models etc,” he added. “Generally we price at a few tens of euro in this market entry phase.”

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