updated 12:03 pm EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
Portable SIM provides connection, acts as authentication
Japanese carrier Docomo is looking to separate SIM cards from smartphones and tablets in the future, by placing them inside wearable devices. A prototype Portable SIM device created by the carrier allows mobile devices to use its connection, which could potentially be used as a form of authentication for multiple devices, as well as providing a level of proximity-based security.
Demonstrated to Tech In Asia, the Portable SIM contains the SIM card typically used in smartphones. Connecting over Bluetooth and NFC, the Portable SIM can be tapped with a smartphone, changing the associated ID on the mobile device. The system can be used to unlock personal data stored on a smartphone, or with multiple Portable SIM devices, allow for the smartphone to switch between work and home profiles.
The Portable SIM was used to store log-in credentials for Amazon and Google, with authentication on a device no longer available once the device is out of Bluetooth range. It is also suggested it could be used with electronic locks or cars, with the credentials able to be used on more than just mobile devices, with the Portable SIM hardware shrunk down enough for it to be included in a wearable device, such as a smartwatch.
Docomo states it is looking into further commercialization of the system, though it is not clear when the technology will become commercially available to buy, nor if it will be available outside Japan at all.