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Samsung creates tiny RFID reader for phones

Samsung's RFID chips could be used in existing phones with adapters.

Following hard on the heels of news of the Barclaycard/Nokia trial of RFID-based e-cash phones in London comes word from Samsung that it has succeeded in simplifying the IC chips behind the technology.

The new RFID reader chips are small enough for embedding in anything from PDAs to phones and will give devices the ability to interact more fully with RFID tags in our environment.

Wireless data flow

The examples given by Samsung include retrieving information wirelessly from posters, clothing and museums or tourist exhibits. If the new chips find their way into phones soon, we imagine they're more likely to be used in the same way as Japan's similar ToruCa service.

Toruca, created by NTT DoCoMo as an adjunct to the e-cash functions in its mobile phones, is typically used in point-of-sale situations, where someone using a chipped phone to pay for a product at a cash register can also simultaneously receive marketing information or discount coupons from that shop.

Whatever happens, the news from Samsung only backs up our prediction yesterday that RFID will be coming to all our phones far sooner than anyone had imagined.