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Interviewee: As.Prof. Toshifumi Nakai - Research Associate Professor

Project: Kyushu University ID

GlobalPlatform spoke with Mr Toshifumi Nakai to discuss the development of a multi- application university campus card in Japan, based on GlobalPlatform Specifications.

  1. Can you tell us about the implementation?

    Our approach is not to 'partially digitize existing systems'. Instead we develop 'solutions to solve social problems based on information and communication technology'. Under this remit, we have been developing basic technologies and experimental systems of social information infrastructures since 2002.

    At Kyushu University, we have introduced and are now operating an ID system based on 'VRICS (Value and Right Circulation Control System). This utilizes IC cards to control access to the campus. Simultaneously we have conducted a number of demonstration experiments within Japan as well as other countries. 

    Our campus management system is currently being used for:

    • Facilities management
      • More than 300 doors
    • Library management system
      • Entrance gates
      • Automatic lending machine
    • Parking system
      • Automatic car entrance gates
    • e-money service
      • Shops in campus
      • Vending machines
      • Transportation service (bus fare)
    • Certificate kiosk
    • Students' attendance management system
  2. What were your original technology priorities when you were implementing the solution?

    VRICS was developed to deliver multiple services though a single IC card. The aim was to share resources and allow secure information interchange among service providers. During initial implementation our priorities were to:

    1. Implement a sectoral model
    2. Separate ID and sub-ID generation schemes to make the sub-IDs independent from each other
    3. Reduce dependency on online connectivity
    4. Use near field communication (NFC) technology.
  3. Why have you chosen to now migrate to GlobalPlatform Specifications?

    The scope of the project has expanded beyond the Kyushu University campus. Now local businesses like transportation companies, real estate companies, shops, etc. are using the platform. At this stage we need to open our system to software and service developers to allow them to create new services for their clients who intend to offer services through our platform.

    Additionally, we have already undertaken projects to implement the same platform throughout Japan. In the coming years we also plan to expand into other countries.

    We therefore need our cards to comply with global standards. The increased global adoption of GlobalPlatform motivated us to migrate to its specifications.

  4. What benefits / additional functionality does compliance to GlobalPlatform Specifications bring?

    VRICS is an open platform. We are encouraging vendors to develop solutions for different services to be offered though our platform. Compliance to GlobalPlatform Specifications will make it easier for the third party solution providers to customize their solutions for VRICS.

  5. What is the current status of the migration?

    We have decided to stop providing native cards to new customers. In 2013, we introduced GlobalPlatform cards in our university, issuing 6,700 GlobalPlatform cards for students. This number will increase exponentially in the coming months and years.

  6. What are the next steps for the project?
  7. Gradually we will migrate our entire VRICS system over to cards compliant to GlobalPlatform Specifications. We will be releasing an API stack for VRICS soon to encourage third party solution providers to develop services for our platform.

    We aim to expand the scope of the project beyond the Kyushu University campus to local businesses like transportation companies, real estate companies, shops etc. which have started using our platform to offer their services.

    We will also be working with city hall to offer public services to the citizens using our platform. That will increase the scope of the implementation from local (Kyushu University) to regional (prefectural).

    We are also working with some global solution providers to make their solutions compatible to our platform. We hope to have a third party solution for VRICS soon.