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NFC has emerged as an effective alternative to other short range communication technologies, such as Bluetooth and WiFi. In NFC technology, radio communication is established between devices by touching them simultaneously or by bringing them into proximity.

Market share of NFC technology is growing rapidly because of increasing adoption of this technology into smartphones, tablets, wearables, PC's, Notebooks, mPOS and/or POS terminals etc.

About the technology in The KEY

The KEY wristwatch from Winwatch Trade Ltd Switzerland holds passive NFC and Mifare Technology entirely sealed inside its watch glass for best protection and direct connectivity with outside NFC/Mifare DESfire devices such as NFC smartphones or any NFC or Mifare DESfire enabled reading devices. This technology (tiny but very powerful microchip with attached copper antenna), permanently sealed around the edge of the wristwatch crystal, is nearly invisible and has the benefit to have no physical connection with the watch itself (patented solution from sister company Winwatch IP Ltd Switzerland). The connectivity and data exchange with the different readers runs contactless over a generated RF field. The required power is provided at the same time by the reader so the chip inside the glass needs neither an own energy source nor any kind of battery power. The NFC technology inside the watch glass is moreover 100% maintenance free and waterproofed.

Greatest advantage too, The KEY doesn’t need its own electronic displaylike a smartwatch because the direct action you start knowingly on any NFC reading device shows you instantly on that respective display the result of your performance. So, in fact, nobody else around you knows what you really manage with the watch.

What can I concretely do with The KEY?

Well, consider The KEY with NFC, beside the traditional watch functionalities which consist in showing time and date, as a new extension to freely act in the real and digital world. It will become your everyday enabler for different important real actions which you want to execute, which can result in opening a locked door, opening your locked smartphone, accessing your own protected data and (maybe) in the future paying for products and services, creating a connection or enabling wanted actions which need a stronger authentication than passwords or pins. It’s all about your security needs.

Expressed in just a few simple words this means: “Hey, that’s me – I want that… is completed for me now!”

In the following lines you will get some basic information about what and how of NFC technology in general and NFC in The KEY in particular.

Have fun and pleasure in reading this.

What's “NFC”?

NFC is the abbreviation of Near Field Communication. NFC technology enables simple and safe two-way interactions between electronic devices, allowing consumers to perform contactless transactions, access digital content, and connect electronic devices with a single touch.

NFC technology enables short-range wireless interaction between consumer electronics, mobile devices, personal computers, electrical appliances, and NFC-compatible tags.

NFC complements many popular consumer level wireless technologies, by utilizing the key elements in existing standards for contactless card technology. NFC can be compatible with existing contactless card infrastructure and it enables a consumer to utilize one device across different systems.

Extending the capability of contactless card technology, NFC also enables devices to share information at a distance that is less than 4 centimeters. Users can share business cards, make transactions, access information from a smart poster or provide credentials for access control systems with a simple touch.

NFC’s bidirectional communication ability is ideal for establishing connections with other technologies by the simplicity of touch.

What does this mean for the end user? Easy connections, quick transactions, and simple data sharing.

The Technical specifications developed by the NFC Forum bridge gaps between existing technologies and devices to enable new applications/services.


By utilizing the key elements in existing and recognized standards like ISO/IEC 18092 and ISO/IEC 14443-2,3,4, as well as JIS X6319-4, the NFC Forum Specifications form a technology standard that harmonizes and extends existing contactless standards unlocking the full capabilities of NFC technology across the different contactless operating modes, Peer-to-Peer Mode, Reader/Writer Mode, NFC Card Emulation Mode. 



Peer-to-Peer Mode

In Peer-to-Peer mode, two NFC devices can exchange data. For example, you can share Bluetooth or WiFi link set-up parameters or you can exchange data such as virtual business cards or digital photos.

Peer-to-Peer mode is standardized on the ISO/IEC 18092 standard.

Two devices with NFC can communicate directly and easily to share small files such as business cards.

Example 1: The “NFC” function in Android allows data exchange to share small files such business cards when device (smartphone) touches another NFC device.

Example 2: The “Android Beam” function in Android allows to share larger files between NFC-capable devices by holding them close together. “Android Beam” will turn on Bluetooth on both devices and instantly pair them. For example, you can share big files like Web pages links, YouTube videos, contacts and more.

Example 3:  The “S Beam” function in Android allows you to share very large files between NFC-capable devices by holding them close together. S Beam will turn on Wi-Fi Direct on both devices and instantly connect them. For example, you can share images or video files from Gallery, notes, documents and more.

For examples 1 to 3 the application that is currently being used by the sender device will determine what gets beamed.

Important:  In this NFC Peer-to-peer Mode no secure element module is needed.

Reader/Writer Mode

In Reader/Writer mode, the NFC device is capable of reading NFC Forum-mandated tag types, such as a tag embedded in an NFC smart poster.

The reader/writer mode on the RF interface is compliant with the ISO 14443 and FeliCa schemes.

In this mode, the NFC device can also write compatible NFC tags.

Example 1: Read the content of a NFC tag and launch an associated application.

Example 2: Open a standalone door lock which needs no secure element for encryption and higher security.

Important:  In this NFC Reader/Writer Mode no secure element module is needed.

NFC Card Emulation Mode

In NFC Card Emulation Mode, the NFC device appears to an external reader much the same as a traditional contactless smart card. This enables contactless payments and ticketing by NFC devices without changing the existing infrastructure.

An NFC module usually consists of two parts: an NFC controller and a secure element(SE). The NFC controller is responsible for communication. The SE is responsible for encrypting and decrypting sensitive data.


NFC standards define a logical interface between the host and the controller allowing them to communicate via the RF Field. A built-in app or a small OS implements the secure element which is responsible for the encrypting and decrypting the sensitive data.

Of course, the secure element in The KEY is also embedded in the NFC chip.

What is a “secure element”?

A secure element (SE) is a tamper-resistant platform (typically a one chip secure microcontroller) capable of securely hosting applications and their confidential and cryptographic data (e.g. key management) in accordance with the rules and security requirements set forth by a set of well-identified trusted authorities.

There are three different form factors of SE: Universal Integrated Circuit Card (UICC), embedded SE in NFC device and microSD. Both the UICC and microSD are removable. Each form factor links to a different business implementation and satisfies a different market need.

As a wireless communications standard, NFC provides a convenient method for enabling two devices to connect to each other. But for applications such as contactless payment, user authentication or building access, additional security is needed.

For NFC this means adding a secure element – a specific integrated circuit for handling and storing secured data. The secure element typically features non-volatile memory, a security CPU and crypto coprocessor and features additional security measures to protect it against tampering and attacks.


With its long history in identification, NXP already has industry-leading solutions for smart cards. So it was a simple step to integrate this technology into our NFC controller ICs to provide interactions that are both convenient and secure.


The NXP Mifare DESFire EV1 8K chip embedded in The KEY wristwatch has that secure element

MIFARE DESFire® EV1 tags are NFC Forum compliant. Typically NFC Forum compliant tags are supported by all kinds of NFC handsets, whereas other NFC tags are supported by certain models only.

MIFARE DESFire EV1 is based on open global standards for both RF interface and cryptographic methods. Fully compliant with ISO/IEC 14443A (part 1-4) using optional ISO/IEC 7816-4 commands, the selectable cryptographic methods include 2KTDES, 3KTDES and AES128. The highly secure microcontroller based IC is certified with Common Criteria EAL4+ on both hardware and software implementation. It features an on-chip backup management system and the mutual three pass authentication. This enables MIFARE DESFire EV1 to hold up to 28 different applications and 32 files per application in its flexible file system.


Other wireless and radio frequency technologieshttp://www.nxp.com/documents/brochure/75017587.pdf

WiFi technology was designed and optimized for Local Area Networks (LAN); it provides an extension or replacement of wired networks for dozens of computing devices within a +100-meter range.

ZigBee wireless technology is a standard enabling control and monitoring capabilities for industrial and residential applications within a +100-meter range.

Bluetooth wireless technology was designed to replace cables between cell phones, laptops, and other computing and communication devices within a 10-meter range.

NFC wireless technologyalready previously mentioned.

RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is an automatic identification method, relying on storing and remotely retrieving data using devices called RFID tags. An RFID tag is a small object that can be attached to or incorporated into a product. RFID tags contain silicon chips to enable them to receive and respond to queries from an RFID reader/writer.

Contactless smart cards incorporate a chip (microprocessor) that communicates with a card reader through RFID technology. Examples of contactless smart card communications are ISO/IEC 14443 and FeliCa, which allow communications at distances up to 10 cm.

Nice. But now, what can I concretely trigger with The KEY wristwatch?

a)  In combination with a NFC smartphone or NFC tablet.

If you are already a lucky owner of a smartphone or tablet with the newest Android 5.0 release you can very strongly secure that device with just adding The KEY as trusted device able to unlock it. No more PIN or password input is needed in this case. A simple tap on the watch and just a swipe – that’s it. You are the only one who access your own data and we mean you are the only one.



Under point 2-5 in above figure you find other interesting NFC aps to test by yourself.

Remember, we are just at the beginning of cool and practical daily life NFC apps. Developers and companies of different sectors over the world are discovering NFC functionality and are beginning to create those new smart applications for their own customers. You decide which ones you will use and how you will use them.

b)  In combination with NFC / Mifare DESfire standalone door locks or with complete networked access solutions


If you want useThe KEY   in a networked access system check with the owner of this system if it is NFC and or Mifare DESfire EV1 compliant. In this case, your watch can be programmed by them for you.

Important: Therefore the watch must never have been written or programmed before by you!

It’s because the watch must be encrypted by the owner/ provider of the system in relation with the secure element (encrypting and decrypting) in NFC Card Emulation Mode for highest security level in complex business environments.

For a list of providers of such compatible standalone or networked systems click here:



c)   In the (near) future with NFC / Mifare DESfire technology




As you have read in the preceding text The KEYalready allows you today do easily realize by yourself several real concrete NFC actions to be made which don’t need the secure element for that, mostly in Reader/Writer Mode. It’s a matter of security. As long as you interact only in a protected near field environment (watch to smartphone or tablet or watch to standalone door lock) there’s no risk for hacking or intercepting information by illegally third parties. A very high security is yet given because of the exclusively private use and on the one hand of the short reading distance (fewer than 4 cm) of NFC and on the other hand the UID contained in the NFC microcontroller of the watch glass. A unique identifier (UID) is a numeric or alphanumeric string that is associated with a single entity within a given system. UIDs make it possible to address that entity, so that it can be accessed and interacted with. In the specific the NFC UID is always write protected and it can’t be overwritten or modified in any way without destructing the chip (tamper proofed)!

But as soon as you will use NFC Card Emulation Mode you need special programming of the chip with the use of the secure element for encrypting and decrypting data, the NFC UID is not enough. Why? Well, it’s for several reasons. This mode needs the highest security measures because the forgery risks. As soon as you act in “public space” there’s a high risk of intercepting the now digitally transmitted information to all the involved partners and criminal third parties could intercept and easily fake it if it is not well encrypted.

The NFC chip inside The KEY is ready for NFC Card Emulation Mode but we actually cannot propose you any own ap in relation with that mode. The owners and authorized holders of the different highly secured systems (e.g. contactless payments) keep their encryption/decryption methods secret, which is understandable. Security first it comes to real money!

So at the moment, we recommend to use your own The KEY for all your private NFC interaction aps as mentioned. There are, by this time, still few but consider that numerous developers and countless companies work at this moment hard to find new NFC killer aps. We are very proud that our watches are already “NFC ready” for all NFC modes nowadays and in the near future!

Do not wait any longer. Get your very personal The KEY.




Winwatch Trade Ltd - Switzerland