Docomo Portable Wearable SIM To Replace Phone’s SIM Card, Activate Smartphones and Tablets, and Log In To Websites
NTT Docomo, the largest carrier in Japan, recently announced that it is working on the world’s 1st authentication device based on SIM technology. The device, a portable and even wearable gadget, is envisioned to replace the SIM cards on mobile phones as well as act as a log in device for various gadgets such as tablets and smartphones.
The Portable SIM device is currently in its prototype stage, and is a wireless technology tool that combines SIM technology with NFC and Bluetooth. The device, as shown by the company, is very handy, with the size as small as a credit card. NTT Docomo said that they still intend to make the device even smaller.
The device was shown a few days before the ongoing Mobile Asia Expo being held in Shanghai (June 11 -13), where more details will be revealed. In the presentation, the Docomo officials demonstrated how the Docomo Portable SIM enabled SIM-less handsets to make telephone calls and switch accounts (identities) with a simple touch.
Tapping the Docomo Portable SIM on a handset will transfer its caller identification to the handset, and enabling it to switch to a different home screen. In the demonstration, the Docomo representatives used only one phone, with two units of Docomo Portable SIMs. The Portable SIMs contained two different sets of identities (accounts), with different work and personal profiles. When each Portable SIM was tapped on the handset, it automatically switched to the identity and profile, that the Portable SIM contained.
This feature will allow multiple users to use a single handset, without sharing an account, and keeping their own profile and data. The Portable SIM can also be used to unlock the same personal data on multiple devices, like tablets and smartphones, without using a SIM card on these devices, and transferring data to each.
Another way the Portable SIM from NTT Docomo can be used, is as a storage device for personal credentials, usernames, and passwords, and can be used as a universal passkey for online sites. The Docomo reps demonstrated how the Portable SIM was able to log in to websites like Google, Amazon and Rakuten (a Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company based in Tokyo, Japan. Its B2B2C e-commerce platform, Rakuten Ichiba, is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among the world?s largest by sales).
NTT Docomo sees the Portable SIM expanding into other areas such as unlocking and activating automotive vehicles, as well as electronic locks. The company was quick to add that, for security reasons, the SIM authentication used by the Portable SIM, is deactivated once the Bluetooth connection is lost.
Seeing the potential for a myriad of uses in various industries, NTT Docomo has filed the patents for the Portable SIM, and hopes that other companies will start to use the technology, starting with the mobile smartphone industry. They hope that the major smartphone makers will use the Portable SIM tech as a replacement for the ?outdated? SIM card standard.
Some tech analysts, however, see this as highly unlikely to happen in the near future. The pundits claim, that even attempts to standardize and change existing SIM card sizes, have resulted in drawn-out legal battles.
Like many smartphone users, we had to deal with the different SIM card sizes, everytime we change our smartphone units. The Docomo Portable SIM just might be the answer to this problem, as there will be no need to insert a new SIM card, everytime we change our handsets, or if we need to borrow a unit from a family member, a friend, or even a complete stranger.
Surely, the NTT Docomo Portable and Wearable SIM, is a device that will somehow change the way we use our smart devices, in the days to come.
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