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New Phone Techologies Ready to Meet Customers
Starting next year, people will be able to check expiry dates of beef or download movie previews from posters through mobile phones equipped with radio-tag readers.
The Ministry of Information and Communication (MIC) said Thursday it would launch trial services of such features halfway through next year with an aim of commercially debuting it a year later.
"We plan to incorporate readers of radio frequency identification (RFID) tags into mobile phones to accelerate take-off of the radio tags," MIC official Seo Seok-jin said.
Toward that end, the ministry will establish the Mobile RFID Forum, which will be in charge of standardizing related technologies and manufacturing terminals fitted with RFID readers.
The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) are now developing such terminals and the nation's top cell phone makers like Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics will join.
"Within this year, a prototype phone will be revealed with an RFID reader chip as the state-backed ETRI and major handset vendors combine efforts," Seo projected.
The RFID tag is a small integrated-circuit (IC) chip with a radio circuit and an embedded identification code that can be scanned from a distance.
The radio tag technology is still under development but it is regarded as full of potential; a technology to eventually replace the current bar code.
The MIC projects the RFID-associated market will reach up to $77 billion by 2010 from just $1.6 billion in 2003.
However, the expense of RFID readers, at more than 1 million won, limit the technology but the reader chips inside the handset would be charged at around just 10,000 on mass-production.