Yesterday at E3, the gaming industry's biggest American conference, Nintendo showed up with a 30-minute video updating their upcoming Wii U console--there have been some minor changes, like the move from touch-sensitive circle-pads to real joysticks, but the biggest change is that Nintendo seems to have finally heard of the internet.
Until today, that NFC chip on your Sprint Nexus S 4G hasn't been living up to its potential. Today, though, today Google and Sprint have given it life -- and with it, certain death to many a MasterCard balance.
We're excited about NFC, with all its wallet-replacing, house-unlocking, Wi-Fi-password-remembering potential. But NFC does require a hardware chip, and that means we're at least a few years from real adoption. The recently announced Zoosh is a wireless protocol that can handle many of the features we're so anxiously awaiting in NFC--but without any new hardware, you could theoretically get Zoosh on your smartphone with a mere app download.
Google just announced the NFC-based mobile payment scheme we all knew was coming: Google Wallet. Leveraging the wireless NFC chip in (some, with more to come) smartphones, Google Wallet allows you to tap your phone on a point-of-sale system to pay with your credit card account, as well as a host of coupons and loyalty cards and other retail-friendly stuff Google showed off today.
Smartphone makers, wireless carriers, and credit card companies have all proclaimed their love for near field communication over the last week. And we share their enthusiasm: NFC has a lot of exciting potential. Soon enough, we'll be able to make payments, unlock our houses, stop worrying about our cumbersome Wi-Fi passwords, and hop on the subway without a transit pass, all from our phones. Here's how.
Near-field communications, or NFC, is one of the more promising up-and-coming technologies in the mobile world. In the near future, we'll be able to make secure mobile payments or send files over a short distance with our phones--but nobody has taken that first big step to make NFC a common reality. According to a rumor, Apple may be the one to do it.