NFC news in brief • 23 August 2011

News in brief from the NFC world and beyond: First Android 4 phone could come in October • Rogers planning NFC launch? • Tags stores take off • Jiepang eyes mobile commerce • Tagstar shields tags • BlackBerry NFC delay • Turkcell tests tickets • Vivotech adds NFC POS terminal • and more…

Android Ice Cream Sandwich
COMING SOON? Google’s Android 4 OS, codenamed ‘Ice cream sandwich’

Android 4 to ship in October? Rumours from Korea suggest that the first phone to support Android 4.0 ‘Ice Cream Sandwich’, which is due to bring with it improved NFC peer-to-peer capabilities, will be the Samsung-built Google Nexus Prime. The new device is expected to ship in October, according to BGR.

Rogers planning NFC launch? Canadian mobile network operator Rogers Wireless looks set to be one of the next to launch a commercial NFC service, according to industry rumours. Jeppe Dorff, head of transaction services at parent company Rogers Communications is due to speak at NFC Payments USA in November on “The NFC Blueprint: Pinpoint how agreements can be structured between banks and MNOs to ensure NFC rolls out successfully”…

Tag stores take off: Growth in interest in NFC from marketers and advertisers is fuelling the arrival of numerous new online suppliers of NFC tags and read/write platforms. New entrants in the last few weeks include Kimtag, Zaptag, SimpleNFC and Tagstand.

Jiepang eyes mobile commerce market: Leading Chinese location-based service (LBS) provider Jiepang is now targeting the mobile commerce market, following successful NFC trials at the Strawberry Music Festival and at the Apps@Smartphone Asia Expo. The company now plans a larger-scale mobile commerce trial. “NFC technology is an important part of Jiepang’s growth strategy,” says CEO David Liu.

Tagstar shields tags: Tagstar Systems has expanded its TagOnMetal (TOM) product line to include NFC tags that combine various shielding elements and tag surfaces. TOM is a patented magnetic shielding technology that allows a tag’s RFID signal to be read directly on metallic surfaces and objects. The new tags can be used for automatic reading on metallic surfaces and objects without the need for special configuring or tuning, says Tagstar, and are suited to mobile payment, production process control and traceability, counterfeit protection, and logistics and supply chain management applications.

Vivotech adds NFC POS terminal: Contactless and NFC specialist Vivotech has added a new NFC-enabled POS terminal to its range. The Vivopay 8100 is designed to meet the requirements of the Visa Technology Innovation Program and supports payments via magnetic stripe cards, chip cards and contactless cards as well as NFC phones.

BlackBerry NFC delay: Buyers of the now-shipping BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 NFC smartphones are finding that they are not yet able to use the new phones’ NFC capabilities, according to various internet reports. How long users will have to wait to use NFC functionality looks set to depend on individual mobile network operators. “RIM believes that NFC is an exciting technology that will enable many new capabilities, and we are aligning with our partners in supporting the overall NFC ecosystem by investing in NFC in our products,” according to an official statement from the BlackBerry maker. “The BlackBerry Bold 9900 series are the first to be NFC ready, and we are working closely with carrier partners on their roll out plans for NFC.”

HTC Stunning is Incredible: The HTC ‘Stunning’ NFC phone we reported on ten days ago is now believed to be a version of the existing HTC Incredible phone. The handset is believed to come equipped with a microSD-based NFC add-on and a user interface designed to support China UnionPay‘s microSD-based mobile banking and NFC payments service.

Turkcell tests tickets: The Turkish mobile network operator is piloting Ticket Restaurant, an NFC service that lets staff use vouchers issued by their employer to pay for meals at participating restaurants. Turkcell is a leader in NFC deployments, launching the Cep-T Cüzdan NFC mobile wallet service in April this year and the T20 NFC phone in July.

Plus NFC World’s top stories this week…

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