MetaSepia unveils Patented Optical NFC technology at DELTA Summit 2019

October 1, 2019

ScreenBeam utilises device cameras to establish secure bi-directional authentication to enable faster, safer and easier 1:1 offline transactions.

Optical transaction technology specialist, MetaSepia, today unveils ScreenBeam, a ground-breaking optical alternative to rival mobile near field communications (NFC) services by enabling fast, frictionless and secure transactions between on or offline devices.

Unlike mobile NFC, which relies on transformer-based radio frequency (RF) fields to couple devices, ScreenBeam authenticates visually, displaying and capturing authentication data using the devices’ display screens and onboard cameras. Uniquely, ScreenBeam uses the same interface to enable the instant issuance of a transaction e-receipt, a feature typically unavailable when performing transactions using conventional mobile NFC.

ScreenBeam’s patented optical NFC pairing system supports a variety of use-cases where mobile NFC falls short, notably including rapid and legal in-flight device pairing (in aeroplane mode) and data sharing, offline P2P wallet transactions including cryptocurrency payments, the ability to jumpstart apps and to authenticate automatically to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi gateways.

“ScreenBeam is a radical evolution of the QR code model that provides secure, fast and two-way device authentication to compete with mobile NFC,” comments David Watkins, CEO, MetaSepia. “ScreenBeam uses light-emissive codes which scan quickly and in all manner of conditions. Since device auto-pairing occurs optically, the privacy and security risks associated with radiating a spherical RF field are removed from the pairing process. Barriers to widespread adoption are small; ScreenBeam is lightweight software, deployable across all smartphones and operating systems, including older models with a single directional camera.

“The range of use-cases for optical NFC is compelling,” continues Watkins. “In the payments world, we’re particularly excited about the potential for this technology to enable offline face-to-face crypto payments, especially since individuals and micro-merchants can issue e-receipts and loyalty or promotional materials as part of the transaction, providing a new level of non-repudiation in their digital wallets. These are all attributes that are not catered for by conventional mobile NFC.”

Through investment, licensing, IP acquisition or technology partnerships, MetaSepia now seeks to expand its R&D capability to establish ScreenBeam as a fully functional, standalone optical file sharing system operating at over 100Kbps.

“Most NFC tokens are between 15kb and 50kb,” adds Watkins. “As a pairing interface, ScreenBeam’s UX is already uniquely visual and tactile. Looking ahead, our development roadmap is clear: ScreenBeam will easily rival mobile NFC speeds and open up a variety of new commercial possibilities for service providers.”

MetaSepia’s ScreenBeam technology prototype will be demonstrated at DELTA Summit 2019 (2nd – 4th October) where MetaSepia’s CTO, Kerry Brown, will be available for briefings.

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