Transparent NFC antenna turns any display into payment interface

June 15, 2018 // By Julien Happich
Sharp Japan revealed it has developed a transparent NFC antenna that can be built into a device's display, turning any display into a payment and authentication interface by simply holding an NFC-compatible smartphone or IC-card over the display.

Fabricated with finely screen-printed silver lines by applying "metal mesh technology" typically used for touch panels, multiple NFC antennas with a light transmittance at 80% cover up the entire display panel up to 42 inches in diagonal. Compared to traditional RFID tags which require touching or swiping a card onto the tag, here the large area antenna design increases the operational distance up to 3.5cm, with response times under a second.

The multiple invisibly integrated NFC antennas spread across a large-size display effectively divide the screen into multiple NFC-capable areas that are time multiplexed so as to identify which part of the screen is being used for NFC communication, doubling as a coarse touch panel.

This means users don't have to tap their NFC reader only to a dedicated part of the screen, and instead could tap directly on a catalogue item they would want to purchase online, enabling a more intuitive user experience. Other use cases would be for shoppers to directly access NFC-labelled product information on the shop's premises, using available information displays.

Sharp hopes this new development will find its way in POS terminals and vending machines, or for individual authentication in business, educational, medical, or amusement facilities, to name a few.

Sharp Japan aims to begin mass production of the transparent NFC antenna in the 2019 fiscal year, with commercialization the following year.

Sharp Japan - www.sharp-world.com


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