UK-based Optical Antenna Solutions has launched a revolutionary optical device that will help reduce the massive global problem of credit card fraud. Working with scientists at Warwick University, OAS has developed the world’s most advanced optical lens and antenna. This groundbreaking OAS antenna, unveiled at today’s giant Comdex exhibition in Las Vegas, can capture information signals more efficiently, over far greater distances and at far greater capacities than ever before.
The new lens brings credit card-free ‘point and pay’ technology – the ability to make secure purchases using devices like mobile telephones – closer than ever before.
Using the example of a shop-bought purchase, the procedure of the ‘point and pay’ financial transaction is fundamentally the same as that of credit card payment procedures.
That is until you reach the point where the credit card would normally be handed over for swiping.
At this point, the antenna, inserted in the mobile phone to read as part of the infrared port, will be pointed towards the till where a similar infrared port can be found. A personal security code is then entered into the phone on the nine digit key pad at which point the OAS antenna captures a light signal, which carries the data required to authorise the transaction and exchanges it with the till. The typical data exchanged between the two ports will include:
— Is the telephone authorised for use (i.e. has it been stolen)?
— Has the purchaser adequate financial resource to make the transaction?
— Is the purchaser a member of any loyalty scheme?
Once this information has been confirmed the mobile phone and the infrared reader on the till give a virtual ‘handshake’, via the two infrared ports and the transaction is complete. The security code, at personal choice, can be between five and nine digits so is almost 100% unbreakable due to the number of possible combinations.
This added security will further protect against fraudulent transactions and significantly help to reduce the global payment fraud bill. An electronic receipt will be given as proof of purchase on every occasion in keeping with legal requirements.
The antenna will also vastly enhance the functional capability of other current technologies, including Personal Desktop Assistant’s (PDA’s), lap-tops and portable computers and printers.
“The development of the optical antenna is truly a world technological achievement that will touch the lives of millions, even billions, across the planet and potentially slash global fraud bills,” said OAS Managing Director Derick Wilson.
“Enabling business to greatly curb payment fraud is just the start for this breakthrough device. Other viable applications for the antenna will be limited only by our ability to identify them. It should ultimately deliver benefits to any industry sector that utilises light measurement systems for data capture and delivery of any kind.”
“The concentration and gain capabilities of our optical antenna is achieved by a complex series of mathematical curves which can be adjusted to meet the requirements of the customer and their application,” Mr Wilson continued. “It can be made in any size required. In a mobile phone or PDA, each antenna would be tiny but larger antenna’s can be used in other applications.”
The live trials of the antenna in a range of ‘point and pay’ applications are currently under way in Korea and are proving the antenna’s capability as predicted by OAS. Further trials are planned for Japan, the USA and Cambridge in the UK.
The device was jointly developed by Roger Green, Professor of Engineering at Warwick University, and colleague Roberto Ramirez-Iniguez. “This optical antenna is so precise that it can search for a signal on just one wavelength of light and is 100 times more efficient in gathering that signal than any other optical sensor of its kind anywhere in the world today.” said Professor Green.
“OAS is already working closely with the world’s leading semiconductor, photonics and optoelectronic manufacturers. The optical antenna can easily be integrated onto semiconductor sensor devices. From this a significant enhancement of current infrared sensors and transceivers will be witnessed, making so many new applications, such as point and pay, possible.” says Alex Clarke, Head of Marketing within OAS.
As Infrared Data Association (IrDA) board members, OAS exclusively previewed the device at the association’s annual conference earlier this year. IrDA is the world’s infrared standards body. Infrared technology is used in mobile phones, PDAs, portable computers and printers but previously range and data capacity has been limited. The optical antenna will allow all industries using infrared to enhance their current technologies and embark on new projects. The main benefits being;
— Significantly increased distance of light ray capture
— Increased and faster optical gain of data delivered by light signals
— Less noise intercepted due to bigger ratio between signal and noise caused by light’s natural movement
— Data throughput well beyond current levels Further information can be obtained by visiting the company website, [www.opticalantennasolutions.com].