HID Global and Sony Introduce NFC-enabled Contactless Smart Card Reader Platform

HID Global, a source for secure identity solutions, and Sony Corporation recently introduced a jointly developed contactless smart card reader platform that embeds secure access control capabilities and Near Field Communication (NFC) functionality into laptops and other mobile devices.  The platform holds a secure element that stores cryptographic keys which secure the authenticity and integrity of user credentials.  It supports widely used contactless technologies for applications ranging from physical access control and identity assurance at the desktop to transit-fare, point-of-sale collection and loyalty programs.

The jointly developed NFC global reader platform is the result of a strategic partnership that Sony and HID Global announced last year.  Both companies will be demonstrating the platform Nov. 15-17, 2011, at the CARTES & IDentification 2011 conference in Paris, where it will be shown reading a variety of card technologies using NFC, a short-range wireless technology that is now fueling a wide range of new mobile access control applications. The HID Global demonstration can be seen in Stand F002, Hall 3 in the Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center, while the Sony demonstration will be located in Stand 4L051, Hall 4.

In continuing to work closely with the NFC Forum in support of market-driven compliance and interoperability goals, the reader platform has been provided to the NFC Forum Certification Program as a reference sample to assist in the validation of the Digital Protocol test tools. The reader platform will also be submitted for certification.

“HID Global and Sony have delivered an exciting new embedded reader platform that will be offered to all manufacturers of laptops and other mobile devices,” said Debra Spitler, vice president of mobile access solutions with HID Global.  “HID Global continues to expand our access control system and card services businesses while bringing our partners and customers new products and deployment models that improve user security, flexibility and convenience.”

“We are very pleased with this first solution from our strategic partnership with HID Global,” said Yoshihiko Kawakami, general manager of sales with Sony’s FeliCa Business Division.  “This is an important milestone that moves our FeliCa contactless card technology and NFC solutions into the global market. By releasing the new reader platform, we will play a role in providing a part of the NFC infrastructure in the global NFC era.”

The jointly developed platform supports Sony’s FeliCaTM technology, HID Global’s iCLASS® and iCLASS SETM credentials, MIFARE® DESFire EV1 credentials, and other broadly adopted technologies supporting the ISO/IEC 14443 Type A/B contactless smart card standard using the T=CL contactless transmission protocol.  The solution also supports the industry-standard PC/SC Version 2.0 specification for the programming interfaces between PC applications, the operating system and smart cards. It is also prepared to further support the proximity features of the next major release of the Microsoft Windows operating system which enable communication between NFC tags and devices (mobile phones or computers) using a tap gesture, as well as the Android operating system for tablet products.

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