Samsung unveils Samsung Cloud Print and NFC Printers for small and medium-sized businesses

by Robert Nazarian on
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The CeBit show is going on now in Hanover, Germany, which is the world’s largest IT and office automation trade show. Samsung already has their award winning KNOX platform, but Samsung Electronics Printing Solutions just announced Samsung Cloud Print to go along with it. It’s aimed at small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), and not only includes and app, but NFC-enabled printers too.

It’s basically a secure way for employees to print documents since it’s compatible with KNOX. Users can control which printer does the print job and at which time using NFC. Users can easily be registered for sharing documents to print with their phone numbers, and smartphones can be connected to as many as 20 printers.

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MasterCard and Visa announc NFC payment support through KitKat’s host card emulation feature

by Jared Peters on
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With KitKat, Google introduced host card emulation (HCE) as a means to get around needing access to a secure element, which would allow Google Wallet and other potential mobile payment options to work on devices running Android 4.4, regardless of what US carriers wanted. So far, Google Wallet has been the only app to take advantage of this, but today both Visa and MasterCard have announced support for NFC payments with Google’s newly introduced methods. » Read the rest

New NFC-Enabled Bluetooth Gaming Keyboard for Android Announced by Mad Catz

by Joe Sirianni on
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It appears that Mad Catz, the manufacturer of quite a number of not-so-cheap gaming companions like mice, controllers, games and even apparel, have just announced they’ve heard the vast cries for a more Android centric gaming keyboard. That’s right, the company is introducing their latest product, the S.T.R.I.K.E. The keyboard is an NFC-enabled device with bluetooth capabilities solely focused on Android gaming. Remember the M.O.J.O. console from E3? Yeah, that’s them. The team is dubbing this as “GameSmart” and will be showing off their implementation of micro P.U.L.S.E. scissor keys which provide precision actuation and tactile responses.

In addition, there’s an optical finger navigational mouse sensor with dedicated hardware buttons for a better gaming experience on Android. Furthermore, the company is clearly pushing the aesthetics department a bit with their futuristic Bill & Ted excellent design. Overall, we think they look pretty innovative. The company is offering the option of three different colors for now. You’ve got the choice of gloss red, black or white.  Check out the rest of the images below as well as the presser and don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments below.

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NFC Task Launcher rebranded as Trigger to go with some updates

by Jeff Causey on
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Egomotion Corp has released an update to their popular app NFC Task Launcher, including a new name for the app. Going by Trigger, the app now supports multiple triggers for each task and conditions can now be set for each trigger. We have seen an increase in apps that try to make smartphones more aware of their surroundings and configuring themselves to be ready for a user’s input based on the context. Trigger takes that concept to the level of actually changing settings or launching apps based on a trigger. » Read the rest

Google Wallet now available on all phones running 2.3 or higher, NFC payments continue to be limited

by Robert Nazarian on
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We have some good news and bad news regarding Google Wallet. The good news is that it has been updated and will now be available to all Android devices running 2.3 or higher regardless if NFC is on the device or not. The bad news is that even if you have NFC, the in-store payment option will continue to be limited to a handful of devices because carriers such as Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile support the ISIS payment system. Customers of these carriers will still be able to download the app and could still find it useful.

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Google is testing NFC security tokens to get rid of the password for good, could be released in 2014

by Robert Nazarian on
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Security is the buzzword these days and passwords are one royal pain in the you know what. Even locking your phone is a pain. That is why I like Apple’s implementation of the fingerprint scanner. However, Google might be headed in a completely different direction. As you know Google has embraced Near Field Communications (NFC) for a few years now, while Apple doesn’t even talk about it.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is testing an NFC security token. Hardware tokens aren’t anything new. Most traditional versions generate random numeric passwords, but the user has to retype them each time they want to login. This form, created by Yubico, Inc., could work by simply touching it to your Android phone or tablet using NFC or it could also be used as a USB plugin on your desktop or laptop. Google would use this token to log into Gmail and other Google services. I should note that Yubico already offers the YubiKey (pictured above) and can be used just like what I described. It can actually be used with Gmail’s 2 step verification. How Google will change it, remains to be seen, but WSJ says Google “plans to offer to consumers” next year.

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Sony releases cute “love-commercial” making use of NFC technology in Xperia phones

by Harrison Kaminsky on
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Sony has taken NFC technology to a whole new level in their new commercial— now you don’t even have to say a word (or send a text) to ask a girl out! What is the world coming to?

All kidding aside, the tech company has put together a pretty cute ad displaying two teens with a crush on one another. They share love songs to each other’s Sony headphones through their Sony smartphones, to share their mutual feelings for one another. It’s a bit far-out, but it does show a pretty cool use of the technology in a unique way.

Check out the video after the break. » Read the rest

Old Samsung NFC TecTile tags don’t work with the Samsung Galaxy S 4

by Spencer McClendon on
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Samsung has upgraded the Galaxy S 4′s NFC chipset in a way that it no longer communicates with older Samsung NFC tags called TecTiles. When asked about this problem Samsung had this to say:

Samsung is introducing TecTile 2, an update to the original TecTile NFC programmable tags, which will be available in the coming weeks. TecTile 2 will use the current NFC technology on the market, allowing Samsung customers to further incorporate NFC into their daily lives and to use with the latest Samsung Mobile products and services, including the Galaxy S 4. As industry standards continue to evolve, Samsung remains committed to meeting those standards and adapting its technologies if necessary. Samsung customers can also fully utilize TecTiles 2 with existing Samsung Mobile NFC-enabled Android smartphones currently in market.

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Samsung Galaxy S 4 Bypasses Carriers With Latest NFC Technology

by Mike Stenger on
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NFC payment technology is on the cutting edge and Samsung has implemented Visa payWave into the Galaxy S 4 which completely bypasses carriers. Visa payWave works by storing encrypted payment information on an embedded secure element within the phone versus storing payment information on your SIM card. Samsung claims the Galaxy S 4 is the world’s first device to do this with Visa payWave. NFC payment services like Google Wallet have had issues with carriers, Verizon being the largest. Back in December, the carrier delayed approval of Google Wallet while not surprisingly developing their own mobile payment service, Isis. Samsung seems to have been aware of carriers interfering and has developed a better way for users to pay with their smartphones.

Source: CNET UK

Google Joins Board of Directors at NFC Forum

by Jason Bracey on
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The Near Field Communications Forum (NFCF) was established in 2004 as a non-profit industry body designed to encourage advancements in NFC technologies. We have seen this technology slowly making its way into mainstream smartphones from all major manufactures (except Apple) over the past few years.

Google joined the NFCF in March 2011 as a “principal” member, and has not advanced up the board structure…until now. Google has upgraded its status on the Forum to “top-tier sponsor level“. This basically means that Google now has a say in the running of the consortium. Google has a vested interest in advancing NFC technology. After all, their Wallet app for Android would be useless without it. Google Wallet allows consumers to tap their phone to an NFC enabled reader and wirelessly transfer funds straight to the vendor, making transactions quick and painless (on select handsets). » Read the rest