Dai Nippon Printing Co. has begun shipping samples of a new 32-bit, eTRON-based smart card, which the company refers to a "security module." The new card, "SECURETRON 32-B," is equipped with a 32-bit CPU that gives it about three times the processing as eTRON/16Dual, the current top of the line eTRON-based smart card. Its data capacity, which is 132 kilobytes, is also about three times that available on eTRON/16Dual, which it is compatible with. SECURETRON 32-B supports both the eTRON-based eTP protocol and the ISO7816 T=1 protocol. Communication rates with the latter are 9,600 bps, 38,400 bps, and 76,800 bps (compared to a maximum of 38,400 bps for eTRON/16Dual). As an option, Dai Nippon Printing is offering compatibility with two types of biometric authentication data, i.e., fingerprint and voice, with the help of outside suppliers. Envisioned uses for SECURETRON 32-B are as a security module for portable devices such as the Ubiquitous Communicator and/or home-based information appliances such as personal computers.
Ubiquitous computing in Japan took another step forward in October when Ubiquitous ID technology trials were launched at Ueno Park and Ueno Zoo in Tokyo. The trials, which will run from October 13 to November 30, are officially called "Tokyo Ubiquitous Plan/Ueno Town Navi Experiments," and they are being conducted in cooperation with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, which is putting ucode tags and markers throughout the park and the zoo, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, which runs the Autonomous Movement Support Project (also called the Free Mobility Assistance Project) that aims at turning Japanese living spaces into ubiquitous computing environments. The goal of the trials is to provide navigational and sightseeing information to zoo and park visitors in multilingual format via Ubiquitous Communicators (UCs) or UC equipped carts during a self guided tour that lasts about two hours. Those who would like to participate in the trials can apply via a special multilingual Web site that has been established by the metropolitan government.
Personal Media Corporation announced a minor upgrade to its Cho Kanji 4 operating system on October 12. The new release, R4.201, was created to correct some minor problems encountered when using the GT Font in the vertical mode plus a problem of inactive Microscript windows overloading the CPU. Both of these problems were only encountered with the Cho Kanji 4 R4.200 upgrade. The R4.201 upgrade package, which is 111 kilobytes, can be downloaded from this page on the Cho Kanji Web site.