London: RFID Tags for Underground Passes
The plastic cards integrate an antenna coil and a chip that eliminates the need for commuters to insert the cards in a slot. Instead, they can wave it at a range of up to 10 centimeters over a card reader positioned at the top of a gate or bus entry point. The contactless card then "beeps the gates, checks them in and completes the transaction within 100 milliseconds," said Thomas Riener, marketing manager of chip cards at Philips Semiconductors.
The rollout of London's smart card project began this month when the contactless cards were distributed to the staff of London's public transportation systems. Riener called the project "the first volume showcase in Europe" featuring Philips' contactless smart card technology, called MiFare. The technology is already used in volume in the public transportation systems of Moscow, Warsaw, Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul, Ankara and elsewhere, he said.
Philips has already shipped 250 million MiFare chips worldwide, and has shipped "a couple of million devices" to SchlumbergerSema and Giesecke & Devirient, the two companies that received the contract to supply smart cards for London's public transportation system, Riener said... [Smart Mobs]