From The Inquirer.net Mobile phones turned into point'n'buy devices.
A CONSORTIUM of technology companies is about to turn mobile phones into high-tech wallets.
The technology will let people make cash payments from their phones simply by pointing them at the object they want to buy.
Known as Near Field Communication, it has been jointly developed by Philips and Sony s expected to be available for use early next year.
The system, which is being introduced by Philips, Sony, Nokia, Samsung and the credit card company Visa, exploits a new development in the retail industry supply chain called Radio Frequency ID which is replacing bar codes.
Implementing this will happen with bar codes being "turned on" first though. It will take years before RFID tags are in every fast moving good. To start though, users will click on a barcode, or type in a specific word to be directed to a specific site of the manufacturer. Then a simple one-click and purchase is made.
The RFID tag is kind of already there w/ a bar code now. It is universal (same number has the same info everywhere) and each code will be used as a hyperlink soon. So instead of building a better mousetrap, use the one (cameraphone) that works now. The camera on the phone acts as an optical character recognition like an RFID tag reader will.
RFID allows companies to place tiny computer chips in individual items so they can be tracked and also opens a host of new high tech applications such as packages that can tell your fridge when they are about to go off.
By putting a tiny reader for the RFID chips in a mobile phone that uses the NFC radio system the phones can 'see' the RFID chips when they are placed close to them.
By working with Visa, Philips and Sony have been able to also build the 'chip and pin' computer chips now issued as standard on credit cards so that the phone can buy any object it is placed against.
Pressing a button on the phone will authorise the purchase potentially making cash tills a thing of the past