Japanese carrier DoCoMo introduces multi-device wearable SIM cards
Japanese mobile carrier NTT DoCoMo has developed the Portable SIM, a prototype SIM card wearable which will wirelessly connect smartphones and tablets to activate network access via a simple wave of the hand.
The carrier described the wearable SIM as the world’s first SIM-based authentication device, and states that Portable SIM incorporates three major modules; a SIM card, Bluetooth and NFC. The technology can replace a user’s mobile phone SIM card and act as a login for other services. It can transmit the user’s information and separate connectivity from individual mobile devices, whilst carrying login details for shopping sites and social networks.
The pocket-sized credit card shaped prototype will omit the need of having to physically insert SIM cards into devices as required now, and will reduce the efforts required to allow multiple devices to use the same SIM card regardless of OS. DoCoMo also plans to downsize the device even more for use in wearable electronics such as a bracelet.
“When people use multiple smartphones and tablets, this Portable SIM will be a very convenient way to allow you to link to all of them,” Kazuaki Terunuma, managing director of the Advanced Technology Group at DoCoMo’s Communication Device Development Department, said during the briefing on the device, reports PC Advisor.
The Portable SIM was demonstrated in Shanghai ahead of Mobile Asia Expo which kicks off on Wednesday, says the Verge. During the demo SIM-less phones were able to receive calls and switch between SIM identities and transferring caller ID with a wave of the hand. The representatives showed how easily users can use one phone with two Portable SIM devices to switch between work and personal profiles. On the other hand, users can also use one Portable SIM to unlock personal data on multiple devices.
As mentioned above, the device can also be used to store IDs and passwords. In addition, it can be used with PCs, in-car information systems, music players and other devices with Bluetooth or NFC connectivity for faster access to online-shopping and other sites. For security, the transferred phone-numbers and logins will automatically lock once the Bluetooth connection in lost.
We think that it is a pretty decent concept, if it can be developed further into a working device. The company has also filed for patents on the Portable SIM device, in the hope that it can replace or be used as an alternative to the ageing SIM standard.