Feeds

Oberthur paints go-faster stripes on SIMs

Shaking things up, Wii-mote stylee

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

MWC In what much surely be the last push to get more functionality into a SIM card, Oberthur has managed to squeeze an accelerometer into SIM, with the claim of turning any phone into a Wii-like controller.

SIM chips are marvellous cryptographic authentication devices, but not much else despite repeated attempts to fit more functionality into the diminutive form factor. This time it's an accelerometer, dubbed the SIMSense and debuted here at MWC. The idea is to provide three-dimensional acceleration information for the multitude of SIM applications that could gain from such a thing.

Applications on the phone could, of course, also take advantage of the functionality - if the handset supports an API for SIM communication (such as JSR177) or is a smart phone. But most smartphones already have an accelerometer built in, since Apple made such things mandatory, so Oberthur's innovation would be useless there - and while JSR177 is a fine API, it is not widely deployed.

Applications running on the SIM itself could be motion-enabled, but navigating a cascade of text menus by shaking the phone is too strange even for us, which makes SIMSense seem little more than a gimmick with no practical application at all, but not for the first time.

The SIM business is big but competitive, and the industry has been trying hard to turn the little chip into a multi-function device for years. Plans have ranged from the technically stupid (GPS and Zigbee receivers sandwiched between a battery and a circuit board) through the possible-but-unwanted (high-speed interfaces and gigabyte capacities) to the standards-requiring (NFC, Single Wire Protocol and MegaSIMs).

Meanwhile, punters would like to be able to store proper address books on their SIM, along with their operator's network access settings and an MMS or two. But that's not going to make money for handset manufacturers, the network operators or the SIM industry, so everyone will just have to console themselves with the thought of Wii on a SIM. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
MOST iPhone strokers SPURN iOS 8: iOS 7 'un-updatening' in 5...4...
Guess they don't like our battery-draining update?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.