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.
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.
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