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SIM card innovation is back!

Week 08, 2009

Oberthur demonstrated SIMSense, a SIM card equipped with a motion detector. Such an invention triggers creativity: instantly, Oberthur employees, and everyone else hearing of the technology started to elaborate potential applications for this creation. Thanks to the presence of the motion detector, the busy recipient of a call can, with a simple gesture (turning over the handset for instance), send a predetermined text message to the caller to inform he is busy and will call back later. With a motion detector, a simple move can bring up the SIM Toolkit menu to the handset screen, and solve this way, difficulties users have to find it, and use operator-designed applications; then, choices in a SIM Toolkit menu can be made with a tap on the phone. Also a phone with a SIM including a sensor can detect the fall of an elderly person for instance, and take an action: make a call, send a SMS, reach a URL, …

Sagem Orga demonstrated a SIM card with A-GPS ability on its booth. The whole industry has been talking of Location Based Services (LBS) for at least 10 years, but so far, their use was either dependent on imprecise location (based on triangulation) or reserved to higher end handsets including a GPS module. Now, with this functionality, many LBS applications can be developed, and provide integration with other services such as showing on the handset screen the route to a given shop or restaurant. Location Based Services represent a great opportunity for advertising, and provide operators a means to provide advertisers with a means to target their ads very precisely.

Gemalto announced the awards of its SIMagine context, showing the SIM has come a long way since it was established 20 years ago to support subscriber identity. There are still opportunities for new applications development such as making biometrics or social networks converge into a SIM card.

The common point between these innovations is they run in the SIM card, allowing our industry to provide innovative applications to its natural customers, the mobile network operators, while not being obliged to be dependant on handset vendors.

The Secure transaction industry is back as the leader in innovation.

Thierry Spanjaard

Chief Editor

Smart Insights