Just as the end of the Harry Potter movies is approaching, gadget makers are starting to implement a technology that will let you do things with just a wave of your hand! The gadget world has realised it’s time to let us play wizard, as Harry Potter is hitting back with his final spell — but this time we’re not just talking about a Magic Wand Remote Control.
Mobile phone manufacturers are integrating another technology protocol that will convert their devices into a magical wand — Near Field Communication (NFC). It’s not anything new: It’s been around for a while. It’s just that the uptake was rather slow.
Very soon, with the likes of the Google Nexus S mobile phone you should be able to make payments, buy tickets, share business cards or even pick up any information from your environment, just with a wave of your phone. The technology has great potential for our modern world.
In a recent interview at the Web 2.0 summit, Google CEO Eric Schmidt has shown signs of approval towards NFC and the latest generation Android v2.3 (Gingerbread) will support the technology.
This short-range connectivity protocol, similar to Bluetooth is not all that new. It’s been there for a while, since 2003, with Nokia and Samsung already having a few NFC-powered handsets. However the functionality was not made commercially available, but numerous trials of the technology only prove how exhilarating and useful it can be.
It is known to be popularly used for payments in Japan, though not yet popular in Europe and America, but that could be about to change with Google throwing their mobile OS backing behind it.
In fact, a recent study at Juniper explores how NFC will transform the mobile phone into a wallet. Google CEO said Gingerbread would replace a credit card.
As NYTimes says in a report, credit card companies might also consider this a safer bet especially because the rate of theft of mobile phones is considerably less than credit cards. If you lose a NFC-powered phone, all you got to do is to ask the mobile provider to switch off the chip.
According to NFC World, the Finnish mobile makers Nokia is also planning to switch on C7’s NFC functionality this year. Among four other handsets unveiled at Nokia World 2010, only C7 included the NFC functionality which will be activated soon.
Over the past year, there have been numerous patents of Apple suggesting interest in the technology. In fact, the company is known to have appointed an NFC expert, Benjamin Viger, who has earlier involved himself in developing payment models.
Mac Rumors suggest that the next generation iPhone 5 might have the NFC functionality too. Unlike Google’s plan of making your phone a credit card, Apple is planning to let you customize your desktop using the technology.
If true, the feature could mean that you can access libraries of your personal data from your PC at the wave of your hand, on your mobile phone handset.
The possibilities the new protocol offers is limitless. With NFC as your travel mate, you can secure e-tickets instantly, pay for your morning coffee and make reservations for your hotel or car with just one tap.
So there you have it, Near Field Communication will probably be the next technology to transform our lives in a Harry Potter fantasy-style or futuristic science fiction way, depending how you look at it!
Are you looking forward to being able to make payments with your mobile phone just by waving it, or do the potential security concerns of your mobile phone worry you?