You got around that challenge with your unique patented snap switch. How does this work?
When you have a microcontroller on a smartcard for whatever application and it’s going to be
powered by onboard power you really need to have a microcontroller that goes into sleep modewhere it consumes minimum power. Most microcontrollers will have that ability. Then you need
to bring it out of sleep mode…you need to wake it up. You do that typically by putting power to
two pins on the microcontroller. So you apply the two or three volts across these two pins andthe microcontroller will wake up. Traditionally this is done by a simple piece of wire and a dome
switch inside of the card and when you press the dome’s switch you create
a short circuit whichwill then power the microcontroller which will wake the card up. But that is an issue because ofthe dome switch. They are expensive, unreliable, difficult to find on the card, not user friendlyand often are depressed during the manufacturing process so you are draining the battery whileyou are baking the card. So we came up with a simple idea- we took a PIEZO disc which when
you bend or flick it, it would generate power. It’s very cheap and very simple. We took two wires
and soldered them in the microcontroller and when you flick it, it generates power and wakes
the microcontroller up. I don’t know why this hasn’t been thought of before and so we took out apatent on it. We can basically regulate how much you’ll either bend or flick
or tap the cardbefore it wakes up.
Isn’t there than an opportunity for this to accidentally turn on?
When the card is in a wallet and is being bent we of course do not want it to turn on so we founda way to calibrate it so that you really need to tap it or flick it. You can adjust this and controlpretty precisely how much you need to tap or flick the card before it wakes up.
You mentioned some of the applications that this biometric card could be used for. Whichmarkets do you see this being utilized in?
There are two key markets. One is security access. There are many airports that use magneticcard for security. If you get hold of the card, you have access to the security areas, but byadding the biometric functionality to the card, you link the card to the owner. That means thatinstantly, without having to change anything at the Airport, you can use the card immediately.
You just need to replace the card and enroll the owner’s fingerprint to it.
The other major market is the financial card market. Today fraud is mostly done by copyingcards, also called skimming, and this card will stop that, but the major increase in fraud willhappen with internet trading and online banking. This card will allow you to have a very securetransaction without being able to be hacked.