HID Global and Sony to Form Alliance to Create Contactless Smart Card Readers for PC Market

HID Global, a provider for the delivery of secure identity and Sony entered into a memorandum of intent for a strategic partnership to jointly develop an embedded contactless smart-card reader platform for the global PC marketplace. The jointly developed platform will be designed specifically for laptop manufacturers and will encompass Sony and HID contactless solutions and a broad range of other widely deployed technologies while supporting specific regional and application needs.

The new embedded reader platform will support Sony's contactless card technology, HID credentials, as well as other broadly adopted technologies. Furthermore, the reader solution will support applications based on Near Field Communication (NFC). Goals for the joint development, including a complete reference design and developer support are focused on minimizing product development requirements and speeding time-to-market schedules for PC manufacturers.

“We are pleased to be working with Sony to develop a major laptop-based reader platform for the contactless smart-card market,” said Tam Hulusi, Senior VP with HID Global. “This partnership leverages Sony's contactless smart-card reader IC experience with HID's RFID technology for access control systems, extending the value proposition for contactless smart-card credentials to the PC.”

“HID is a partner in Sony's drive to expand the use of contactless smart-card reader technology worldwide,” said Izumi Kawanishi, Senior GM with Sony's FeliCa Business Division. “This partnership is an important element in our program to extend FeliCa and NFC technology into new markets in the U.S. and around the world, across a broad range of platforms ranging from cards to mobile phones and, now, laptop computers.”

Deployed in Asia for more than 10 years, Sony's FeliCa technology is used in approximately 67 million mobile phones in Japan, and more than 315 million FeliCa card chips have been shipped for transportation, electronic money and other applications worldwide. FeliCa has been the basis for transportation access and merchant communities where customers can purchase goods and services. This year, FeliCa's PC reader, which is also embedded in the remote-control unit of a TV, has exceeded 10 million units shipped. The microchips combine processing, storage and communications functions and comply with NFC standards. They provide a solution platform for multiple applications, including electronic prepaid transactions, access, interactive signage and membership or loyalty rewards systems.
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