Android: NFC non-contact payments available in Gingerbread

November 16th, 2010 - 09:15 am ET by C. D.

The bricks required to use NFC services are being slowly deployed to mobile platforms. Eric Schmidt, Google’s President, has indicated that Android Gingerbread will be capable of supporting the NFC technology.

Google Nexus SDuring the Web 2.0 event in San Francisco, Eric Schmidt - CEO of Google had quite a few things to say. He started by quickly unveiling the mysterious Nexus S Smartphone, successor of the Nexus One, although no name or manufacturer was indicated (Samsung).

He also didn’t go into great detail about the device’s functions, as the device was present to instead introduce the imminent arrival of Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the next version of the mobile OS.

NFC coming
And this new evolution will bring with it an important element: support of the NFC technology (Near Field Communication) which will allow you to transform a mobile phone into a non-contact service activation system – electronic wallet, ticketing machine, identification...

Google probably won’t be directly developing such services but start-up’s looking to get a foothold in the NFC field are certainly numerous. The companies that are seeing the greatest success so far in this field are not those that are trying to beat banks through fierce competition, but rather those that are working in a collaborative fashion.

The quick growth of Android in the Smartphone’s segment will be a bonus for the NFC technology looking to try and encourage users to use the technology on a large scale, something which hasn’t yet caught on after years of experiments and economical models.

Nokia has made a similar announcement concerning the Symbian system, promising a large presence of NFC modules in their future Smartphone’s. By being present on the two main operating systems used on Smartphone’s, the non-contact technology now has a good chance of succeeding in the short/medium term, finally breaking out of its experimental phase.

It should be expected that Apple will also look at providing an NFC module in their future generation iPhone’s while Research in Motion will probably also start developing a similar system.

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