Gemplus Offers Contactless Smart Card Reader

Gemplus rolled out the Micro680, a
contactless smart card reader that can be integrated into devices such as
ticketing dispensers, bus ticket validators, handheld card readers, card
reloading terminals, and even vending machines.

Smaller in length and width than a credit card, the Micro680 reader enables
system providers to integrate contactless smart card readers into devices that require contactless reader technology, such as teleticketing, toll collection, access control, and electronic purses, the company said.

The simplest smart cards available on the market today are protected memory
cards, which are primarily information storage cards that must be inserted
into a smart card reader in order to be read. They are inexpensive and can
store from a few bytes to 1 kilobyte of information.

Contactless smart cards are the functional equivalent of protected memory
cards but use radio frequency technology to interact with the card reader
instead of being inserted into the device. The card transmits transaction data and records the data that it receives when passed within 3 to 4 inches of the reader. Transaction times are reduced 20 to 30 times compared to cards
requiring insertion, the company said.

The Micro680 reader will be available in April 1998 and will be priced at less than $200 for volume purchases.

Redwood City, CA-based Gemplus is the North American subsidiary of Gemplus
S.C.A., a global provider of plastic and smart card-based solutions.

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