Nokia to build radio ID chips into phones

(MERCURY NEWS)   Nokia, the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones, plans to incorporate radio frequency identification chips in its handsets to track them from assembly through recycling.

The company sees “numerous benefits” from using the chip tags “early in the process, and early in the process for Nokia means in the device itself,” Jarkko Jaervilehto, a Nokia development manager, said Tuesday at an industry seminar in Vantaa, Finland.

Radio frequency identification, or RFID, is already used to track boxes and pallets at factories and retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores, reducing the need for checking by hand or using bar codes. The chips equipped with radio transmitters are also used for tagging pet animals. The technology will help Nokia monitor sales stocks, getting quicker feedback on fluctuations in demand, Jaervilehto said.

He said it wasn’t clear when Espoo, Finland-based Nokia would start putting the chips in its phones, saying technology and standards need more development. European Union privacy laws may also require that consumers be able to switch off the tags, he said.

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