RFID cell phones take shape at Nokia

For instance, retailers could put RFID-embedded “touch phone here” signs on store shelves to send a coupon to the phone, or put the same signs at checkout stands to instantly transfer personal information stored on the phone in order to complete a warranty, Nokia Director Gerhard Romen said.

At the CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment trade show here, Nokia was demonstrating an early prototype built in collaboration with VeriSign, which is proposing a central repository for RFID data that companies can use to relay information about inventory and deliveries to customers and suppliers. The prototype was based on Nokia’s 5140 model, with an RFID reader contained in a shell attached to the phone.

“It’s still very early yet,” Romen said Sunday when asked when RFID phones may become commercially available.