Near-field comms (was Re: need someone to develop this....)

Shawn Rutledge shawn.t.rutledge at
Sat Dec 1 01:59:10 CET 2007

On Nov 30, 2007 1:34 PM, Michael Shiloh <michael at> wrote:
> If Bob (or Alice) hands his (or her) phone to the other, then if both
> phones are shaken in the same hand, the acceleration pattern might
> provide an extremely unique yet similar signature, not unlike exchanging
> an encryption key.
> So if you want to establish a trusted relationship with another Neo
> user, the two phones are shaken together until the software indicates
> that you have generated a complex enough pattern that has been
> recognized on the other.

This is the sort of thing that NFC (near-field communication) was
supposed to make possible, except without the shaking... you just
bring the phones near enough, or touching, so that the range-limited
RF conversation can occur, and you could have instant pairing.

And from what I've read, the radio is the same for NFC as for RFID.
So a phone equipped with such a radio can be useful for other things

- the privacy nuts worried about having RFID tags in everything can
scan products and detect them

- read RFID sensors (some day when such things exist)

- scan something in the store and look up the reviews and price
comparisons (since they will replace barcodes soon)

- use an RFID token (such as a smart card) for security authorization
(such as for a web site you are browsing on the phone, or an SSH

- the phone could emulate an RFID tag (e.g. the phone could act as a
security token in lieu of some other smart card)

- small-value money transactions.  In Japan, I read that NFC phones
can already be used to purchase a soda, or pay for subway fare right
at the turnstile.  Just touch the phone to the active spot on the
turnstile and walk through.  Maybe the SIM's hardware could be used to
execute a secure challenge/response sequence to authenticate the user,
and the rest of the transaction is a service to be provided somewhere

It would be awesome if FIC could include an NFC/RFID radio in some
future generation of phone.

In the meantime the shake is cool to implement authentication with the
existing Neo, but it depends on making the idea popular enough so that
pairing with other devices becomes possible.  BT headsets probably
don't have acceleration sensors so far...  but at least for
phone-to-phone pairing it sounds like something Nokia might do.
Somebody could present the idea at a conference or two and see who
else adopts it.

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