NEC has announced plans to launch a multi-format RFID card reader next April. A prototype of the new device, which is compatible with all three major wireless card formats along with a few others, was on display at the company’s iExpo event in Tokyo this week, according to a PC World article.
The reader was demonstrated to work with Mifare, Felica, I-Code, Tag-It, EPC Global, Intellitag and uChip cards. For four of the card formats, the unit is completely compatible but for Mifare, Felica and uChip it is only able to read the card ID number. With several formats now battling to dominate the RFID card market, the reader can offer users some protection against betting on a particular format, only to find themselves invested in the Betamax of RFID technology in the future.
A non-working model of the commercial version, which is about a quarter the size of the prototype, was also displayed at the event. It will be launched in April along with a reader circuit board, smaller than a credit card, which can be embedded into other products.
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