What is the difference between a reader and a coupler ?

What is a "smart reader" ?

At SpringCard, ‘smart' readers are devices that combine a coupling device with embedded application software, instead of the host system necessary for other devices. These 'smart' readers are capable of completing alone a simple transaction with a card, and finding a ID compliant with what the treatment system is waiting for.We know that a smartcard is basically a microcontroller communicating with the external world through a serial line, we must find a better name than “reader” for the device that ensures the connectivity and gives access to the smartcard instructions.


What does it mean to read a smartcard ? 

"Reading” a smartcard makes not more sense than “reading” a SQL database; you do not “read” a raw memory; your application sends some commands to get authenticated, sends other commands to explore a file system, etc... and read it, of course, but not only.

Therefore, the reader in which the smartcard is inserted plays the role of a pass-through gateway between a software running in the host computer and the software running inside the card’s microcontroller.

This gateway translates commands coming from the host application through any computer interconnection technology, into electrical signals. But this gateway does not add any processing logic. its position is to couple the smartcard with the computer that’s why we call it a “coupler”.

To conclude this topic with a relevant practical case, you can watch our video about the differences between the Prox’n Roll RFID Scanner and the Prox’n Roll PC/SC.



If you want to have a more visual explanation watch this video and subscribe here to our Youtube channel for more great content !


Published on 07/18/2018

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