Communication & Charging Made Possible by Simply Holding the Cellular Phone!? 《Slim, Thin, Bendable》Next Generation NFC "Spiral Antenna" Technology by RICOH Co., Ltd.

Communication & Charging Made Possible by Simply Holding the Cellular Phone!? 《Slim, Thin, Bendable》Next Generation NFC "Spiral Antenna" Technology by RICOH Co., Ltd.

  • Other Products Deadline : Jan 31,2019
  • NFC technology (Near Field Communication) is used in many situations, such as payment of mobile wallet and electronic money. Conventionally, the parts of "NFC antenna" required for this communication had limitations in the range of introduction due to size reasons. Therefore, RICOH developed "RICOH Spiral Antenna" with the characteristic of being delicate, thin, and able to bend. The change has made previously difficult ideas possible.
    What's better, the technology can be utilized for wireless charge not only communication, it may be able to reduce the charging stress of various items.
RICOH, Co., Ltd. RICOH, Co., Ltd.

What is NFC?

In short, NFC (Near Field Communication: Near Field Communication Standard) is a standard for "holding communication".

When devices with IC chips of this communication standard are brought close to within 10 cm, both sides can recognize and exchange information, functions such as mobile wallet, exchanging data between devices, personal authentication, etc. It is a technology supporting various situations in our daily life.

NFC is a mechanism in which "module" holding data with IC chip embedded and external terminals called "reader / writer" communicate data via "NFC antenna" included in each.

However, the NFC antenna, which is the key component of this NFC technology, had the following problems and the subjects to be introduced were restricted.

  • By reason of size and shape, equipment that can be introduced is limited
  • It interferes with metal
  • A single directivity

Therefore, Ricoh's research team worked on this subject and created a new "NFC antenna" called "RICOH Spiral Antenna" which is the providing technology of this time.

Let's see that feature.

It is resistant to metal disturbance and easy to read from multiple directions

In the conventional "NFC antenna", due to the influence of the internal metallic parts etc., there was a case that an event that radio waves were hard to read from a certain direction.

On the other hand, "RICOH Spiral Antenna" is resistant to metal disturbance due to its magnetic field characteristics, making it easier to read communication from multiple directions, and it is expected to be used in a wider range of scenes.

RICOH Spiral Antenna can be used for wireless charging

For example, when adding both functions of "mobile wallet" and "wireless charging" to a ring-shaped device, each antenna must be incorporated so far, securing a space within a small enclosure becomes a major issue when designing this 2-funtioned product.

"RICOH Spiral Antenna" can be used not only for NFC communication but also for "wireless charging antenna" and can also benefit from space saving within a small enclosure such as a ring type device, for example.


However, there is a limit to the charging ability of the small "RICOH Spiral Antenna".

For example, charging the newest model smartphone may take several days.

Please contact us if you have a concrete product image in mind, we welcome any of your creative ideas/proposals.

Application Ideas

We suggest some ideas about innovative "RICOH Spiral Antenna" on the following aspects:

• Wearable terminals (smart ring, smart wrist band, etc.)

• Hearing aid

• Earphone, headphones

• Toys

• Games

This time, by utilizing this technology, from "product concept" of "what kind of customer", "what kind of needs" and "how to satisfy" to "product design" such as shape / color and package, we are looking for a TOTAL, COMPLETE product planning proposal!


* If the design work is difficult, suggestions of only "product concept" are also acceptable.

About the design proposal competition!

• Process until commercialization

The deadline for the product planning (concept · design) is January 31, 2019.

• Briefing sessions!

We will hold a briefing session on RICOH's technology, expect detailed explanation from RICOH's researchers on Wednesday, December 12 at 18:30 in Shibuya. We are looking forward to your active questions.

Participation application from here (transition to external website).


If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask in the chat box below.

We are waiting for your active participation, from the bottom of our heart!

※ "おサイフケータイ®" mobile wallet is a registered trademark of NTT DoCoMo, Inc.

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Submit Design Proposal

Please Login to submit design proposal.

Guidelines for proposal

  • Total prize amount: 500,000 JPY
  • When participating in a commercialization project, 200,000 yen (optional)
  • If commercialized, sales royalty (up to 15 million yen)
  • There are possibilities that multiple works may be adopted. In that case, the prize money will be in the form of allocating 500,000 JPY.
  • After adoption, we may ask you to participate in the subsequent commercialization project (optional). In that case we will pay 200,000 yen as a reward.
  • Sales royalty will be paid according to the sales amount when it becomes commercialized by this competition. According to the agreement between TRINUS and the company / manufacturer responsible for commercialization, the amount of royalties may be changed without notice.
  • Even when it is adopted in this competition, we do not promise to be commercialized for sure.
  • It is not decided to merchandise at this moment between RICOH and TRINUS (contract has been signed up)
  • As for the amount of royalties, up to 3 million yen per year, five years (15 million yen) will be the upper limit according to the terms and conditions of TRINUS.

How to Apply

  • Please post all proposals in this site with images (JPG, PNG or GIF format).
  • Proposal plan can be posted freely combining project plan, idea plan, idea sketch, rendering CG, drawing, photographs of actual prototypes produced. The total number of contributions is 6 files in total.
Evaluation Criteria
  • Receives many “Want It!” clicks and positive feedback from our web users
  • Have received a lot of favorable opinions from buyers of our network
  • In accordance with the application guidelines and possible to be manufactured
  • Is not overly complex and can be manufactured and sold at a competitive/realistic price.


※ Please refer to terms and conditions as stated on our website.

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