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Thank a German: Smart Card

Thursday, January 13, 2022 2:55 PM | Anonymous

From cell phones to credit cards, and even some IDs, smart cards can be found all over! But did you know that you can thank a German for this powerful technology?

In the late 1960s Germans Jürgen Dethloff and Helmut Gröttrup imagined a way to place an integrated circuit (IC) chip onto a plastic card as way to provide a secure, tamper proof form of identification. Acting like a key, the first use of this technology was intended to release the tapping mechanism at unmanned gas stations. 

Since that first conception, there have been many changes, improvements, and additions to this

 technology. The first widespread use of the smart card didn't come until 1983 when a smart telephone card was created for payment in French payphones.

Today you can find smart card technology nearly everywhere you look. SIM cards, public transit cards, credit and debit cards, ID cards, and more - we have this secure technology thanks to Germans Dethloff and Gröttrup!

DANK Haus
German American Cultural Center 

4740 North Western Ave. 
Chicago, IL 60625

DANK Haus German American Cultural Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.


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