Introducing the new FunkyGate-IP NFC

SpringCard‘s technical team is proud to announce the launch of a new generation of contactless readers for high-end access control applications, the FunkyGate NFC family.

Using the same shell as previous generation’s FunkyGate-DW (Dataclock, Wiegand and RS485 interfaces) and FunkyGate-SU (RS232 and USB interfaces), the FunkyGate NFC family introduces a brand-new member, the FunkyGate-IP NFC.

As the name suggests, the FunkyGate-IP NFC brings the power of TCP/IP up to the door or gate. A standard RJ45 plug connects the reader to any Ethernet LAN (10 or 100 Mbps). More than that, the FunkyGate-IP+POE NFC reader is powered directly by the network (Power Over Ethernet), thus removing the need for the classical 12V power cable.

The FunkyGate-IP+POE eases the job of wiring the building to before installing the access control system. With only a single Cat5e right to the door, the reader is operational as soon as it is plugged to the network.

The FunkyGate-IP+POE eases the job of wiring the building before installing the access control system. With only a single Cat5e right to the door, the reader is operational as soon as it is plugged to the network.

The FunkyGate-IP NFC and FunkyGate-IP+POE NFC readers take full benefit of SpringCard‘s know-how in all the various 13.56MHz protocols, and pave the way for a easier and wider use of NFC mobile phones in access control and identification applications.

SpringCard MultiConf is a new, versatile, configuration application for all SpringCard products. Define the FunkyGate-IP NFC's configuration, write this configuration into a Master Card, apply this Card to all the readers you want to configure, and voila!

SpringCard MultiConf is a new, versatile, configuration application for all SpringCard products. Define the FunkyGate-IP NFC’s configuration, write this configuration into a Master Card, apply this Card to all the readers you want to configure, and voila!

Thanks to the 4 card processing templates -a concept shared with the Prox’N’Roll RFID Scanner and among all SpringCard standalone readers-, the FunkyGate-IP NFC is able to fetch virtually any data from current contactless cards and RFID tags.

The ‘NFC’ in the product’s name denotes the exclusive ability to support new reading schemes based on NFC Forum’s concepts :

  • Read an NDEF record stored on a NFC Tag and retrieve its data,
  • Receive an NDEF message from a mobile phone, using NFC Peer-to-peer technology (SNEP over LLCP, Push mode : PUT request from smartphone to reader),
  • Get data from a card-emulation application, possibly running on an Android system thanks to the HCE (Host Card Emulation) feature.
Thanks to Android's 4.4 HCE mode, the FunkyGate-IP is able to get an identifier or perform a transaction over the NFC smartphone, even in screen-off mode. (this is also an unusual selfie)

Thanks to Android’s 4.4 HCE mode, the FunkyGate-IP is able to get an identifier or perform a transaction over the NFC smartphone, even in screen-off mode.
(this is also an unusual selfie)

When it comes to communication with the access control system (embedded control unit or computer running an access control server application), FunkyGate-IP NFC provides an efficient, low-overhead, fully secured communication protocol using TCP sockets and AES cipher for authentication, integrity and confidentiality.

An SDK will be released soon, together with a demo of an access control server application running on a small Linux system, typically a Raspberry Pi.

The reader also embeds a tiny HTTP server that makes it possible to develop a client application in no-time using high-level languages. A simple REST API exposes the reader’s behaviour (basically controlling the LEDs and buzzer) and the card/tag numbers to the outer world.

An example setup of using the FunkyGate-IP in the cloud: the reader provides data using a REST API (HTTP request, JSON content). The demo application runs in the browser (JavaScript).

An example setup of using the FunkyGate-IP in the cloud: the reader provides data using a REST API (HTTP request, JSON content). The demo application runs in the browser (JavaScript).
(click the image to enlarge)

FunkyGate-IP NFC HTTP access (REST) demo-page

Using the FunkyGate-IP NFC through HTTP: a demo-page showing how to use the REST API from a JavaScript application (if you have a FunkyGate-IP, use the demo at www.springcard.com/goto/iwm2/

First batches of FunkyGate-IP NFC (and FunkyGate-IP+POE NFC) are already shipping to our early-adopters. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a demo or to evaluate the product.

New documents and the SDK will be published on our web site in the oncoming weeks. In a second step, the E663, which is the core the FunkyGate-IP NFC is built on, will be offered to developers and integrators as a versatile Ethernet-based RFID/NFC OEM module. Stay tuned !

The FunkyGate-IP is built upon the new SpringCard E663 core. Supporting Ethernet and TCP/IP, this OEM RFID/NFC module could be the basis of new generation solutions that closes the gap between contactless smartcard technologies and today's cloud architectures.

The FunkyGate-IP is built upon the new SpringCard E663 core. Supporting Ethernet and TCP/IP, this OEM RFID/NFC module could be the basis of new generation solutions that closes the gap between contactless smartcard technologies and today’s cloud architectures.

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SpringCard introduces new SDK for NFC-enabled PC/SC readers

It’s now the final countdown before the launch of new SpringCard NFC products, H512 and NFC’Roll. Both products are not only able to read/write NFC Tags, but they also introduce NFC peer-to-peer communication and an innovative Card emulation mode.

The developers who already have an early release of either product, or who want to start evaluating the development process, are welcomed to download the first version of the SDK, which has been made available today, together with its documentation.

The NFC SDK for PC/SC includes
NFcTool, a Tag read/write Utility,
NFcBeam, implementing the NFC Forum ‘Simple NDEF Exchange Protocol’ (SNEP) on top of NFC Forum LLCP (Logical Link Control Protocol), itself on top of NFC-DEP, i.e. the NFCIP1 peer-to-peer layer (ISO 18092 chapter 12). A typical use-case would be to retrieve a contact entry (VCard) from an Android smartphone, or to push a SmartPoster from the PC to the smartphone,
NfcTagEmul, showing how easy it is for either H512 or NFC’Roll to emulate a NFC Forum Tag (type 2 or type 4). This makes it possible to push a SmartPoster, URI, Text, VCard… from the PC to the smartphone, as smoothly as if the phone was reading a static Tag,
– and much more!

Edit 15/10/2013: starting with PC/SC SDK version 2.12, the NFC extensions are now included in the PC/SC SDK itself. Please read this article for details.

Those software are available with complete source (C# for .NET) in the SDK. Please download and read PMD2228: NFC SDK for PC/SC – Getting Started Guide for a guided tour and a few technical details.

Click here to download SpringCard NFC SDK for PC/SC

The reference manual for operating the readers from PC/SC applications is here: PMD2176: H512 (and NFC’Roll) Developer’s Reference Manual.

An installer is also available (SQ2211: QuickStart for H512 and NFC’Roll) for people who want to try the products but don’t need the full SDK.

Warning: a few changes have been on the specifications since the Alpha version of the firmware (1.6x branch). Products shall be updated to firmware v1.70 in order to be compliant with the final specifications, and to work with this SDK. Current 1.7x branch doesn’t include peer-to-peer in Target mode (only Initiator mode is currently implemented). This will be added in 1.8x branch.