NFC: Google Wants Your Wallet. And That's a Good Thing.: Page 2


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Currently, we have to have a different password or PIN for every business, website, service — you name it. NFC enables us to use either biometric identification or opinion or password on our device, and have the device authenticate us. This would make authentication both far more convenient and far more secure.

As devices proliferate, wouldn't it be great to simply set your phone on top of your tablet or your PC and have those devices synchronize? Combine the password thing with the sync thing and you can imagine the future of using the computer.

You simply walk up to any PC or terminal, set your phone or iPad on a special place-in device, and it will synchronize anything you preauthorized it to sync with. It will also authenticate you for anything you do on that device, such as visiting websites, checking your bank account and so on.

The iPhone 5 will not have NFC

The Apple rumor mill predicted back in March that the upcoming iPhone 5 would support NFC. According to a variety of reports, that isn't going to happen.

Apple tends to be conservative on these things and probably won't sell NFC phones before they have a bulletproof way to make a lot of money from them.

When they do embrace it, I'm sure they'll do it big, and try to turn the whole world into an App Store. But for now, Apple's competitors such as Google, Research in Motion, HP and Microsoft will probably all beat Apple to market with phones that support NFC.

NFC will not enable wireless pick-pocketing

People hesitate about embracing new technology, especially wireless technology that involves hooks into bank accounts. But NFC isn't especially insecure. On the contrary, it replaces spectacularly insecure things like credit cards and passwords.

Yes, virtual pickpockets will be able to hold the device close to your phone, even through the fabric of your pocket, and get within range of that NFC chip. However, security for the chips is pretty good and will always require some kind of on-screen approval, pin, password or biometric scan.

NFC isn't only about cell phones

The technology requires a reader and a "target." Targets do not need to be powered. That means NFC chips can be installed into clothing, keys, stickers — just about anything.

The world's embrace of NFC technology is long overdue, in my opinion. I'd like to see us get there a whole lot quicker.

Google's announcement tomorrow represents a bold push in that direct. When Google adds more cities, more partners and more options, I just might dump my iPhone and buy an Android device.

Google wants you to throw your wallet in the trash. And it's about time somebody did.

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Tags: Google, ecommerce, wireless, mobile commerce, NFC

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