Java Card mobile grid

e-Smart, day 2. Serge Chaumette, Damien Sauveron, and the rest of the team directed by Serge at LaBRI, is the developer of the Java Card Grid, They have put together a bunch of smart cards readers with cards in them, and then used that as a server for security-sensitive operations. The basic idea was very nice, and it won last year’s Isabelle Attali award for best innovation.

One interesting consequence of this work is that Damien and Serge have worked a lot on the control software for their grid, and they have acquired great expertise on this kind of software.

The mobile grid [SCMM06], which was presented at e-Smart, is an evolution of the Java Card grid, which is based on deployed SIM cards, which can have nice features:

  • Deployment is difficult, because the OTA channel is limited. However, the Royal Holloway team is associated to this project, and they have developed a GlobalPlatform loader as a MIDP application, which runs on the phone.
  • SIM cards are proactive, thanks to the SIM Toolkit framework
  • SIM cards are linked to phones, which enables user interaction

The idea looks great: we are here getting to actual mobile code on SIM cards, potentially in a peer-to-peer mode. However, there are two main issues:

  • A nice idea like that needs applications. Actually Damien and Serge made a call for applications, so please contact them.
  • The idea does not really go in the direction of operators. Ideas like “mobile code on the SIM” and “peer-to-peer” are likely to make them nervous. If we add the JSR177, it will not be easy for them to get the thing working on real phones, connected to a real network.

I hope that they will overcome the operator difficulties and that, in the meantime, they will build a nice prototype on simulators and get nice application ideas.

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