Mobile Operators Standing Too Close On Near Field Communications

from the just-a-suggestion dept

The idea that mobile handsets might one day be used for payments and other near field communications has long been promised, but (at least in the US) has seen little action. One hindering factor is that paying for items at a store with a mobile phone isn’t much easier than paying with a credit card, particularly if the credit card is of the contact-less variety. The real value, then, may not be in payments, but in other applications of the technology, such as smart signs and kiosks that deliver information to mobile phones. But mobile operators aren’t interested in those applications because there’s no direct financial benefit. Instead, they envision taking a slice of every payment made over their phones. To do this, they’ll try to lock down the technology, even if it stymies the non-financial applications that could really help the technology take off. The operators need to realize that opening up, even without direct financial benefit, increases the overall value of the technology. From that, let others build the apps that drive usage (and money) to the operators, rather than assuming the operators always know what’s best.

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Comments on “Mobile Operators Standing Too Close On Near Field Communications”

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Sanguine Dream says:

Not so fast...

The real value, then, may not be in payments, but in other applications of the technology, such as smart signs and kiosks that deliver information to mobile phones

Imagine walking through a mall and and as you pass a long row of kiosks your phone starts going off like crazy.

I got two words for you!

Mobile SPAM!!!

I dont think spam on your cell phone is a problem now but this seems to be nothing more than a door to more “in your face and down your throat” advertising that companies will run through if given the chance.

Brandon Faust says:

Re: Not so fast...

You need be something like 8cm away from a smart tag for the NFC device to transmit. It’s simply not possible any other way because of the low-frequency it operates in…spam will only come if you intend it to be.

Of course, it’ll primarily be for marketing, but users will engage in it and enjoy it. You’ll see…

Clifford VanMeter (user link) says:

Re: Mobile Payments and Spam

You really think those fiat dollars you have are any more real than digital transactions. Paper money only has value because the government says it does, it is backed by nothing more than their word it is good.. American currency is really no more than a government sanctioned credit slip, especially dicey in these days of spiraling deficits.

shawn mccollum (user link) says:

I don’t think this technology will create alot of spam because the phone needs to be within about 2 inches of the other device to communicate. It uses magnetic field induction to transmit data and power between the phones. Cetainly someone will figure out how to spam you through it but near field doesn’t by it’s nature allow for the same “walk down the street” mobile spam that rfid or bluetooth communication can. The passive mode is cool in that the device you use your phone with draws it’s power from the magnetic field your phone generates, so it can sit inert until you wave your phone over it. I think it could overtake qrcodes as the mobile physical to internet link.

lil'bit says:


Is there not enough risk already of identity theft and privacy invasion? Do these tech people just sit around and brainstorm MORE ways to put personal data out there to be stolen? Or worse, mined, either by private firms or the government?

Jay-sus, people! Maybe if we didn’t find it so convenient or really, really avoided this stuff, the corporations would stop!

I propose we all let the corporations who think they have purchased the american government and people know who drives the machine. I am calling for a 24 hour boycott on buying anything, spending ANY money on anything unless it is critical, on July 4th, 2007. A week would be a better protest and absolutely no spending even better, but one has to be realistic. Spread the word!!
The only way the american people will ever get political power back (assuming you are one who believes we ever had it) is to exercise economic muscle. Spread the word!!

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