The technology behind the recent JR East Touchless transit gate affair got a little clearer today. Sony and Docomo announced a new ‘touchless’ Osaifu Keitai settlement process that combines Ultra Wideband (UWB), Bluetooth and FeliCa technologies from Sony, NXP Semiconductors and Docomo and bypasses NFC. The press release does not mention the new version of FeliCa that Sony is developing for Super Suica, but a next generation FeliCa OS is what powers UWB touchless transactions.
In addition to touchless ‘keep smartphone in bag or pocket’ transactions (what about authentication?), the press release also outlines digital car key and digital signage uses for the technology. It all sounds very similar to the earlier JR East Suica touchless walkthrough gate reported by Kyodo News. Does this mean that touchless gates require iPhone 11 and later?
Technology demonstrations including hands on will be held from December 10 to the end of January 2020 though the press release does not specify exactly where. A last minute venue announcement to keep competitors guessing perhaps? A public showing with hands on will also take place at the “Docomo Open House 2020” at Tokyo Big Site on January 23~24.