Omnikey joins the NFC Forum
OMNIKEY, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of innovative smart card readers, has joined the NFC Forum to help to expand the connectivity of NFC credentials and devices to personal computers. The Near Field Communication (NFC) Forum is a non-profit industry association formed to advance the use of NFC short-range wireless interaction in consumer electronics, mobile devices and PCs. Interoperability between all NFC devices, that are based on 13.56 MHz technology, and easy consumer interaction with those devices are the major goals of the Forum. Already today, OMNIKEY delivers contactless PC-linked readers based on the PC/SC framework that read and write to 13.56 MHz credentials. Thus, the reader/writer functionality as defined by the NFC-Forum is already supported. By joining the Forum, OMNIKEY will be able to leverage on its in-depth know-how of smart card reader integration into PCs and to extend its offering to support all NFC tokens with any NFC operating mode. NFC technology evolved from a combination of contactless identification and interconnection technologies. It combines the functions of a contactless reader, a contactless card and peer-to-peer communication. Operating at 13.56 MHz, NFC technology is defined in the ISO 18092 and ISO 21481, ECMA (340, 352 and 356) and ETSI TS 102 190 standards. NFC is also compatible with the broadly-established contactless smart card infrastructure based on the ISO 14443 A standard (Philips MIFARE® technology) as well as Sony’s FeliCa™ contactless card. “Our membership of the NFC Forum can be the starting point to gain momentum in NFC acceptance at end-user level,” comments Kurt Schmid, CEO of OMNIKEY. “The integration of NFC enabled devices into personal computers will be easy thanks to our unique experience with PC-linked devices. People are already used to working with a 13.56 MHz contactless card and an OMNIKEY reader to securely access their PC. The same will be possible with NFC technology.” CardMan® readers supporting all NFC modes (reader/writer, card emulation and peer-to-peer in active and passive mode) will be available in the second half of 2006. Both ready-to-use peripherals as well as OEM modules will be offered by OMNIKEY.