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Brief Published: 20 Jun 2014

Docomo Unveils Portable Sim

Docomo's sim card could be integrated into wearables

Japan's largest mobile carrier Docomo has designed a wireless sim card authentication device that could soon be miniaturised for wearables.

The Portable Sim incorporates Bluetooth, near-field communication and sim technology, and would replace the traditional sim card found in mobile phones. It stores personal details such as logins, passwords and phone numbers, allowing users to access phone networks and websites, transfer information and switch user identities by merely 'waving' the device over smartphones, tablets and PCs – essentially acting as a digital master key.

The prototype is the size of a credit card. However, the company is planning to reduce the device until it's small enough to incorporate into wearables such as bracelets.

Docomo representatives demonstrated its capabilities ahead of Mobile Asia Expo in Shanghai last week, by using it to enable sim-less phones to make calls and switch identities with a single tap. The company is also exploring ways to sync Portable Sim with other smart devices, such as TVs, music players and electronic door locks. For security, authentication is terminated once the Bluetooth link is broken.

Take a look at Mobile World Congress 2014: Security and Privacy for a mobile security update. For the latest wearable innovations, see Wearables: Beyond Novelty, part of our reporting from this year's SXSWi event.