Perhaps the most important part of your smartphone is the SIM card. It holds your mobile number and confirms that you are you. Japanese carrier Docomo has shown off a prototype concept where this SIM is fitted inside a wearable device rather than your phone, giving you the ability to sync with any handset or tablet, irrespective of operating system.
It’s important to emphasize that this is more idea than reality at this stage, but it nevertheless paints an interesting picture of a future where your digital identity goes everywhere with you rather than sitting inside your mobile. The wearable device itself has Bluetooth and NFC capabilities to enable it to quickly pair with any gadget the user comes into contact with.
Described as a “SIM-based authentication device” and called Portable SIM, the new technology could, in theory, be used to log into a whole series of secure websites and services. “By simply waving Portable SIM next to a mobile device, the user’s subscriber identity can be transmitted to the mobile device via Bluetooth, eliminating the need to physically insert a SIM card,” said Docomo in a press release.
For now, the wearable device is the size of a credit card, but Docomo hopes to reduce this significantly as the technology is developed and refined. The company also mentions online shopping, smart TVs and in-car systems as potential uses for the Portable SIM, enabling other services to recognize you as soon as the SIM card is detected.
The idea of using a wearable device as a secure login tool is not a completely new one of course – from fingerprint scanners to face recognition, a multitude of companies are looking to find the next-generation equivalent of the password. Having a SIM living outside of your phone is an interesting twist though, linking your mobile number and your digital identity to your body rather than whatever gadget you happen to be carrying.