Students develop smart cards of the future

Date: Wed, 09/16/2009 - 10:58

Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) is encouraging new talent in the IT sector. A specialist in security applications, the company invited seven finalists from the German National Computer Science Competition (BWINF) to Munich to attend G&D’s Action Week for IT Talent. They came from all over Germany and spent the week working with G&D specialists, developing both new and unusual potential uses for smart cards – ranging from secure “electronic calling cards” to the use of smart cards as an advertising media in newspapers

Students develop smart cards of the future

To round off the event, the seven top talents, aged 16 to 21, were given the opportunity to discuss their ideas and visions in depth with Dr. Karsten Ottenberg, Chairman of the Management Board and CEO of G&D.
“I was most impressed by my exchange with these young people. Their fresh ideas provide us with new approaches to future innovations,” remarked Ottenberg, who is always keen to encourage new talent. And his feeling is shared by the specialists who played an active role in G&D’s Action Week for IT Talent.
The results of G&D’s Action Week are really quite impressive, beginning with the electronic calling card of the future presented by the up-and-coming IT enthusiasts: business people and private individuals will no longer exchange contact details on printed paper cards, but simply by touching smart cards together. The advantage of such “electronic calling cards” over mobile phones lies in the fact that they cannot establish their own network connection. They thus represent a very secure solution, with the actual data being stored securely in a crypto module.
In future, smart cards with a display device could also be used as data carriers in newspapers and journals, in order to make supplementary advertising or information available to readers. Special “access codes” for additional information (made available on the Internet, for example) could also be stored on the smart cards. The particular benefit of this solution is that it would be ideal for “valuable” content such as gift certificates, or for permitting access to “test reports”, since unauthorized individuals would not simply be able to copy down the access codes.
The up-and-coming researchers also believe the smart cards of the future could be used as secure mass storage devices. An additional display and appropriate input elements would make it straightforward to process stored information.
G&D’s seven young visitors number among the 28 individuals who have made it through to the final round of the German National Computer Science Competition (BWINF) and who attended the “German IT Skills Summit” (IT-Hochburg Deutschland) in November 2008. This annual gathering of IT talent is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is accompanied by a sponsorship program involving leading IT companies. G&D has taken on sponsorship of seven of the summit’s participants, enabling them to gain an insight into the fascinating fields of work within the IT sector through various activities and programs. Indeed, G&D is very interested in maintaining contact with these highly-talented IT enthusiasts even outside of this program.
G&D offers young people a wide range of excellent opportunities for training and making a start in their career. These not only include skilled occupations through vocational training, but also dual study programs and a new graduate trainee program. It is also possible to gain an insight into the company as an intern or student temp or while completing a graduate thesis.

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