The wireless payment industry needs small, cheap smart tag devices that can be easily printed for the whole process to kickstart. The devices known as rectennas combine a rectifier which converts current from AC to DC with an antenna can harness power directly from radio waves given off by a mobile phone.
The tech was developed at Sunchon National University and Paru Printed Electronics research Institute at South Korea, where the rectenna is based on Near Frequency Communication (NFC) tech. NFC chips can be used to tag many of the same things RFID can, and it can range from pets to luggage to inventory in warehouses.
Its no surprise that NFC has be touted as the likely killer app to introduce contactless payment, where payment can be made by simply waving a reader in a phone over an NFC price tag.
Worldwide payments by NFC-enabled phones are predicted to reach $50 billion - and while its spread as been slow, due to costs of installing it in devices and the lack thereof systems to support them, the new rectennas would be able to bring the cost down to as close as 1 penny per unit, according to the team.
NFC technology differs very much from RFID because its a two communication whereas RFID tags are only a one way read only tech. [Nanotechnology]