DoCoMo, also known as NTT DoCoMo, is a Japanese communications corporation that has introduced a line of cell phone sets that contain the equivalent of a digital smart card. The phone sets can contain data such as personal or business identification, banking information, credit card data, and transportation passes. A device can function as both a digital wallet and a communications device. The first unit, called the P506iC, was released in July of 2004. Soon after that, the SH506iC was introduced. More sophisticated units are expected to follow.
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The DoCoMo phone sets contain a microchip developed by Sony, known as FeliCa or i-mode FeliCa. The chip stores the data and performs the necessary processing and communications functions. For example, a user can upload digital cash from a credit card, pass a phone set near a scanning device at a department store checkout station, or use a phone set as a virtual train ticket. Of course, the units are capable of routine calling and e-mail functions, and can send and receive images, in addition to performing the smart-card-equivalent functions. Third-generation DoCoMo sets are expected to provide remote or automatic locking so that, in case a unit is lost or stolen, unauthorized persons cannot use it.