Live from J1: The PlaySIM Project

The PlaySIM project is about using a SunSPOT device as a Java Card 3.0-enabled SIM card. It is a collaboration between Sun and Telenor, and as far as I know, it is the first experiment based on Java Card 3.0 performed by a mobile operator.

The interest of this project is to combine the expressive power of Java Card 3.0 with the sensors offered by the SunSPOT, such as accelerometers. Because the SunSPOT platform is extensible, it is also possible to experiment with sensors that are not supported by default.

In terms of implementation, it is in fact two different projects:

  • A Java Card 3.0 experimentation on SPOT. It is just an expeimentation, because there has been no real attempt to make this implementation compliant to the Java Card 3.0 specification.
  • The PlaySIM daughter board project. The idea is here to connect a phone’s SIM connector to the PlaySIM card, itself connected to a SunSPOT. In order to make things easy, the PlaySIM board includes an actual SIM card, which takes care of the GSM network authentication. The PlaySIM board therefore filters incoming commands, processes those related to high-level services, and forwards the basic GSM commands to the actual SIM card.
  • An eGSM daughter board. The idea is here to provide a terminal for PlaySIM. This then allows some M2M experiments with SIM cards, and experiment with connected objects.

An interesting part of this approach is that any protocol can be intercepted, including the very basic and very widely available SIM Toolkit protocol. The SunSPOT will insert proactive commands that corresponds to the thing.

The PlaySIM project is actually an open source project, whose idea is to cooperate with universities, SIM card vendors, and developers. The content will be available in a few weeks on The cards should also be available for sale in a few weeks.

Of course, there are extensions on the road, and one of them is to be able to simulate a WLANSIM, which is one or Telenor R&D’s pet projects.

Once again, this project is worth following. Hopefully, I will be able to tell you more in a few weeks.

One Comment

  • Hey Eric,

    Yeah, I’m really excited about PlaySIM, and actually, I’ve been contracted by Sun to write an article about it this year. I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s published, since it’ll be a benefit to all in the smart card community who want to get started with PlaySIM.

    I knew you were heading to JavaOne, and I probably ran into you among the 15000 other people there. Perhaps I can buy you lunch (and pick your brain) if we meet up at another conference!

    – Bruce

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