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NFC Kit Launched to Spur Application Development

AIRTAG released a software development kit (SDK) for near field communication technology (NFC) that includes ISO-standard tags, a USB reader and a software library for the creation of contactless payment and other applications.
Oct 01, 2008This article was originally published by RFID Update.

October 1, 2008—AIRTAG, a Paris-based maker of near field communication (NFC) readers, announced its new AIRTAG KIT, one of only a few software development kits (SDKs) available for NFC technology. The AIRTAG KIT includes a reader, four types of standardized tags, a software library and documentation. The company says the SDK is suitable for end users and professional developers.

The reader has a USB interface and can read tags that conform to either the ISO 14443 or ISO 15693 standard and can be used with mobile phones. Four styles of sample tags that conform to these standards and the MIFARE and JCO protocols are also included. The software can be used to create JavaCard applications for the Global Platform standard. It can be used to create electronic payment, contactless ticketing, social networking, access control, check-in/check-out and other applications, according to AIRTAG.

The kit is available for €249 from www.airtagkit.com.

NFC is a fast-growing technology used in contactless payment and other applications, particularly outside North America. By 2013, one in five mobile phones will be NFC-enabled and more than $75 billion in transactions will be conducted by NFC, according to Juniper Research (see NFC RFID to Power $75+ Billion in Transactions in 2013).

"The contactless payment market is set to go through strong growth over the next five years both in the US and around the world," ABI Research analyst Jonathan Collins told RFID Update in August. "The coming together of contactless payments systems like Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass with contactless transportation ticketing holds the promise of further fuelling contactless uptake. What is clear is that reader vendors are lining up to support that transition." (see ABI: Signs of NFC Payment System Convergence).

Recent research from the Smart Card Alliance found 47 percent of U.S. consumers would switch their cellular carriers to gain NFC payment capability (see Industry Group Turns Attention to NFC & Mobile Payments).

Despite the expected market growth, there have been few NFC development tools released. AIRTAG claims it's kit is the first, but Nokia and Turkish firm Alvin Systems are also known to have released NFC SDKs.
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