Google Nexus S is the first Android phone to include NFC (Near-field communication) for wireless hardware for applications such as contactless payment and perhaps proximity based target advertising.

I wonder if the micro SD card slot on other Android phones supports the SD IO standard. The SD card interface also defines an interface for devices as well as storage cards, for example a SD sized WiFi transmitter could be fitted to photo cameras for transmitting pictures to the internet as they were taken.

I wonder if the micro SD card slot also has this capability and if the NFC chip and antenna could be viable in such a form factor (and for some phones underneath the battery, but still user removable)?


2 Answers 2


A microSD NFC reader has been certified for commercial use (Visa certifies DeviceFidelity’s In2Pay NFC microSD ). We used a Nexus S to read, display, & share a video from an RFID sticker The Internet of Experiences: Consumer-based advertising using the Nexus S. XtremeSignPost Consumer-based Advertising.

  • Great answer, with link that shows real working example of what I was looking at: bit.ly/hcQBrC "enables them to transform their existing phones into fully functional mobile payment devices." Commented Dec 19, 2010 at 12:45
  • Quote part 1 of 3: "Once an In2Pay microSD card has been personalised with a cardholder's details it can be inserted into one end of a specially designed plastic 'card' which can then be distributed to customers using a standard bank card mailer." - nearfieldcommunicationsworld.com/2010/03/11/33044/… Commented Dec 19, 2010 at 12:54
  • Quote part 2 of 3: "When the customer receives his new device in the mail, he simply detaches the card from the carrier, removes the NFC microSD device from the card and inserts it into his mobile phone." - nearfieldcommunicationsworld.com/2010/03/11/33044/… Commented Dec 19, 2010 at 12:55
  • Quote part 3 of 3: "Software then installs and a prompt appears on the phone's screen instructing the customer to enter a password on the mobile phone's keypad. Once that has been done, the customer's phone is NFC-enabled for whatever applications the bank has chosen to install on the In2Pay device." - nearfieldcommunicationsworld.com/2010/03/11/33044/… Commented Dec 19, 2010 at 12:57
  • nearfieldcommunicationsworld.com/2010/03/11/33044/… Great explantion but wish they had used "their" and "the customer" rather than "his" "he". As I would not expect this to be only aimed at a certain 50% of the population, rather both genders :) Politically correct and pedantic I am being I know, but it has to be said, their grammar is outdated. And I'm a bloke! Commented Dec 19, 2010 at 12:57

The first part of your question is tautological: If the phone supports SDIO then yes, it supports SDIO. The G1 and the "BeagleBoard" support it, I believe. As for the NFC chip, I'd say that if it isn't small enough already then it could be shrunk to fit. It's not a particularly complicated piece of electronics.

I'd see very little benefit in developing something like this, however. I don't think NFC will take off before the next 2 or 3 generations of phones (if it does at all), so most people will be getting new ones instead of tricking out their old ones.

  • Edit: A bit early to accept an answer yet. The first paragraph is useful - particularly that the NFC could be small enough to fit in a microsd form factor. Commented Dec 19, 2010 at 12:47
  • +1 for your answer @Matthew Read, because your second paragraph raises a good point about taking off, this article: theregister.co.uk/2010/12/23/oyster_london_nfc indicates that NFC is an immature market in some time sensitive applications, i.e. rushing through a London tube gate, so @bulamonto's answer with a microsd is favourable, as this can be replaced as improved faster NFC arrives. Commented Dec 23, 2010 at 12:13

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