[an error occurred while processing this directive] IBM Research - Zurich | News

Leading-edge smart card technology meets sophisticated watch technology

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Zurich, Switzerland, July 2000—IBM, Philips Semiconductors and Junghans have created an exciting new type of watch, worn exactly like a standard wristwatch, but one which provides far greater functionality than just time measurement. The Junghans radio-controlled, solar ceramic watch uses an integrated contactless OpenPlatform/JavaCard™-enabled smart card controller IC to extend functionality into the area of open, multi-application IT use with convenient contactless operation for users. Applications that may be loaded on demand to the watch are electronic tickets, door keys, electronic purses, and ID information.

Philips' MIFARE® PRO dual interface smart card controller IC bearing the IBM OpenPlatform/JavaCard™ implementation makes the functionality of such a device possible, while the Junghans ceramic radio-controlled watch provides the highly attractive and convenient carrier for this technology.

The world's first dual-interface OpenPlatform/JavaCard™, based on Philips' MIFARE® PRO smart card controller IC, was exhibited by Philips Semiconductors and IBM Research - Zurich at the Cartes '99 trade fair in Paris. The card uses Java virtual machine technology developed by IBM for 8-bit smart card controllers. Together with the implementation of the OpenPlatform specification for dynamic application load, the card provides a high degree of security and flexibility, opening up a whole new range of applications for smart cards in the future.

A new and promising use of this technology arises from its integration into Junghans' exclusive radio-controlled ceramic watch. The radio-control technology makes it extremely precise-to within one second in a million years-as well as extraordinarily convenient, as time and date are set automatically. A solar cell provides the energy required for operation of the watch. Even in complete darkness the watch has enough power reserve to run for up to 6 months.

The case is made of ceramic, a material that is extremely scratch-resistant, harder than stainless steel, absolutely hypoallergenic, and will not affect the electromagnetic field necessary for the operation of the embedded contactless smart card chip. Moreover, the material gives the watch its uniquely modern and exclusive look. This watch incorporates state-of-the-art technology and will provide a greatly enhanced service to users.

Press contact

Nicole Strachowski
Media Relations
IBM Research - Zurich
Tel +41 44 724 84 45

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