Sony reportedly signed a deal with smart card specialist Watchdata in a bid to integrate near-field communication (NFC) technology to more of its handsets. While this technology can bring a lot of benefits to smartphone owners, one of the most apparent reasons Sony shows its interest in it is because of the mobile payment system believed to become a billion-dollar industry in 2016. In fact, Sony is just one of many companies that see NFC as a gold mine.
The Japanese electronics company is set to commence its integration of Watchdata’s contactless technology into SIMpass solutions in 2013. SIMpass is yet another SIM-based mobile payment technology that will operate without the need of additional antenna. Perhaps, one of the reasons why Sony shows interest in using this technology is because it doesn’t need to sacrifice the form factor of its devices.
Sony is already using the contactless technology from FeliCa but majority of devices with this chip are used in mobile devices in Asia. Signing a deal with Watchdata doesn’t mean the company will make a shift in the contactless technology it wants to use. Rather, it paves a way to promote a technology (FeliCa) that already has a proven good track record. It might also become Sony’s ticket to claiming a bigger piece of the pie in the western market.
“The commercially proven security and performance of FeliCa is something we want to aggressively promote in the growing NFC ecosystem. The agreement with Watchdata allows us to adapt FeliCa technologies to more handsets and expand global market presence,” said Mario Manabe, senior general manager of the FeliCa business division within Sony.
For now, Sony seems to focus more on the Asian market where its devices are still among the most popular. In the U.S., however, the company needs to do more marketing campaigns and bring more impressive devices.
[source: The Next Web]