Mobile payment providers. Yeah, I'm already getting a little sleepy thinking about them, too. Let's face it, they're not the most exciting topic in the world, but whenever we talk about how people spend their money, you know there are lots of companies out there eagerly eying the potential of various new payment technologies with great interest. Among such companies are cell phone carriers, and the reason why should be obvious: smartphones with NFC are ideal platforms for next-generation payment systems.
When Panasonic announced the original ELUGA for the European smartphone market, we were a little underwhelmed. Today the ELUGA gets a new, awkwardly-capitalized older brother, the ELUGA power. True to its name, the device is considerably more powerful than its predecessor. Which is good, because this series needs all the help it can get.
Here's the rundown on the new hardware:
Until today, Panasonic had been keeping their high end Android phones to themselves in the Japanese market. That's about to change with the advent of the Eluga. Panasonic announced the new device today in Hamburg for release some time in March. We're promised that the phone will be waterproof and dustproof, which is great for all those times that you have your phone out in a dusty rain storm.
Here's a list of the key specs:
- 4.3" qHD display
- 8GB of onboard memory
- 8MP camera
- Dual-core 1Ghz processor
- Android 2.3
All in all, the device sounds like a fantastic device...for early 2011.
The official sign-up page for the Sprint Galaxy Nexus has gone public on the Google Nexus site (see second bullet), as tipped by an Android Central forum reader DaEXfactoR. Outside of this random Google+ mention from Jan 17th, this seems to be the only reference to the sign-up page on the web, so chances are you haven't seen it yet.
Either way, if you're looking for information on how to rock the first and best ICS phone on an unlimited data plan without grandfathering (or so we hope), you'll want to go sign up posthaste.
Jealous of all the new phones coming out equipped with NFC but locked into a contract with your current, NFC-less handset? Worry not, friends, DeviceFidelity and Spring Card are looking to change the game within a several weeks with a new NFC microSD card that will bring touch-to-pay to "a number" of Android-powered handsets.
The card is called moneto and seems to be a fairly simple setup. Pop it into your microSD card slot, place a small NFC antenna inside your battery compartment to help with the signal, install the moneto app, and you're ready to go.
Make no mistake about it - the Galaxy Nexus is the most important phone of 2011. It's the first device from the next generation of Android. It hits every major feature the phones of 2012 will be touting: On-screen buttons, a massive 720p OLED screen, NFC, LTE, and Ice Cream Sandwich. Together these things make this phone unlike any other Android phone. This is what Android's future looks like.
- CPU: 1.2 GHz, Dual Core TI OMAP 4460
- GPU: 384 MHz PowerVR SGX540
- RAM: 1 GB
- Storage: 32GB (28GB usable, no SD card)
- Screen: 4.65" 720p Super AMOLED PenTile
- Camera: 5MP rear, 1.3MP front, 1080p Video
- Battery: 1,850 mAh
- OS: Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich (Stock)
- Weight: 135 g (4.8 oz)
- Dimensions: 135.5 mm x 67.94 mm x 9.47 mm
- Verizon LTE
- Ice Cream Sandwich is a revolution.
In a rather unfortunate bit of news regarding Verizon's Galaxy Nexus, a rumor that the device will not have support for Google Wallet has been confirmed.
A Google spokesperson confirmed to Computer World today that the hotly anticipated Nexus device won't support Google's burgeoning NFC-based mobile payment system, but gave no word as to why Verizon decided to forego the service.
Verizon's decision could have something to do, however, with Isis – a consortium comprised of VZW, AT&T and T-Mobile, who have paired with four major credit card companies to form their own NFC-based payment venture.
Joining the race to replace all of your practical possessions with mobile apps, Lockitron is offering an NFC-based, key-free lock control solution for Android, iPhone, and Blackberry that has the potential for tons of applications, from letting people into your home while on vacation, to simply buzzing in a friend with no effort whatsoever.
Utilizing a system of "mobile keys," Lockitron's system communicates with a small hardware device connected to the user's internet router, which in turn communicates with your doors, either automatically, or through the use of an optional NFC tag that the user would manually slap onto a lock.
So, imagine this: you're walking through the mall, heading to the food court to munch on whatever greasy, artery clogging slop you can find. You sit down, pull out your mobile, tap it on the table, order your food, pay, and wait for your phone to notify you that your meal is ready. No lines, no feeling rushed because you have no idea what you want -- just you and your phone.
Everyone has been making a big deal about NFC lately - which phones have it, where it can be used, etc. Until last night's announcement, many (including myself) didn't see much on the horizon except a fun way to pay for things using your phone. That perception has changed, however, thanks to Android Beam.
Beam utilizes NFC technology to quickly, seamlessly transfer data from one device to another. As demonstrated last night, one has only to touch the two devices together to send just about anything from web pages, to photos, to apps.