Tag Archives: NFC

That’s the Ticket!

I’ve just read Sarah Perez‘s post on ReadWriteWeb about the future of mobile ticketing. I know that doesn’t sound like the most enthrawling subject to read about, but it is actually hugely relevant to LosingFace and will definitely being commonplace for all of us in the next year or so.

Think of the implications of being able to buy cinema tickets whilst stuck on the bus on the way to the theatre knowing you’ll miss it otherwise. Imagine being able to choose your seats and click OK, knowing it is already registered to your current account. Imagine being able to rock up at said cinema, by-pass the box office and simply flash your phone at the attendant outside the door to the screen.

Whether at first it is simply a barcode generator so that the attendant can scan it like a printed ticket or (in the long game) the ability to simply read your phone using NFC – this will be huge amongst those of us out there that aren’t too hot at remembering everything when we leave the house, those of us who could really be more prompt and more so than any other, those of us who really believe in ‘The Simpler The Better’.

I’ve already used a bodged attempt at mobile ticketing. When I flew to the states with my best friends and their band in November I checked in with just my passport and the e-ticket details saved on my phone.

I didn’t need to print anything off only to forget it before leaving the office. I didn’t have anything else to make sure I didn’t leave during two weeks of mayhem. All worked perfectly smoothly.

My only concern with mobile ticketing (in contrast to my massive desire to see this implemented worldwide, across every industry as of tomorrow morning) is that age old concern with mobile phones, the one bit of their technology that is edging forward barely at all – battery life.

How pissed would you be if you had a mobile ticket for your favourite band in the whole world and you battery dies before you reach the venue? Suddenly, the ticket you used to remember to pick up before leaving the house now has to be sufficiently charged!

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It is on it’s way!

Through the ever useful, Contactless Intelligence newsletter, I came across a piece of coverage about Nokia’s intention to integrate NFC (Near Field Communication) into more and more of their handsets, including the new N900 – which is coming out very very soon.

Thanks to being chummy with VISA over the past couple of years, I got to play with one of the prototypes of the phone for a good 6 months in 2009. I must say, it didn’t stick immediately but I am convinced that, by 2012 – the user interface will be waaaaay more intuitive and, as that was the biggest roadblock as far as I was concerned, I expect the pick-up will be much greater.

This doesn’t mean it will be a walk in the park for Nokia, it isn’t as if NFC will be considered as big a commodity as SMS was in the 90’s – not by a long shot – but it isn’t anything a healthy publicity campaign wouldn’t solve. The moment a bunch of 20+ year olds see, believe and trust that totting up and settling debts amongst friends can be as quickly solved as a couple of buttons, beeps and a waft of their mobile – the peer-to-peer micro payment will be alive and kicking.

From my perspective, this would have been incredibly helpful over the past few years for exactly that reason. The amount of times I paid for dinner with a friend, or bought something in full that would then need to be broken up amongst a small group of friends, only to find that all they had was cash or a 3 week wait whilst they finally found a moment to log onto the online banking was utterly frustrating.

Equally, instead of using this technology to settle up on shares of a larger debt to one person, a bunch of friends (all with NFC enabled handsets) that need to split a dinner bill of £60 directly to the waiting staff could simply apply a bit of basic mental division, type in their individual totals and send the authorised amount to the waiting staff’s handset/PDQ machine!

On an utterly serious note, I would very much like to see NFC technology adopt a far more consumer friendly title (and verb), “Bamph”. As in…

“Mate, you still owe me £8 from that round last night, I’m away next week so can you just bamph me it now?”

-Or-

“Little Mikey, I’ll bamph you your pocket money… but first give your old Nan a hug!”

See? Sound awesome. Way more colloquial than NFC and one syllable shorter than PayWave!

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Like-Minded Cyber-Souls

As another social network graces my bookmarks, I have finally found one with a productive value rather instead of the more common time-wasting and escapism attractions to these things.

For anyone who isn’t aware of Delicious, it is a bookmark sharing facility that you can share with the wider community and your [real life] friends.  I signed up expecting to use it once or twice until enough time had lapsed and I forget my password.

Instead, after a very quick search for anyone’s bookmarks tagged with “Cashless” and a host of interesting things emerged that had otherwise completely slipped me by!

The first of many finds was an article by Spencer Kelly for the BBC about living a cashless life in London or, rather, getting from A to B and still buying a coffee without cash.

Although there is some interesting facts about Near Field Communication (NFC) to get your head around, it isn’t exactly groundbreaking.  It can be read here.

The second find was far more my cup of tea; an exploration into how our growing cashless society is and will effect cash dependant jobs like waiting tables, busking and even ‘street Santas’.

Although it is very US-centric, it raises an interesting point about taxable income and how much more traceable tips are when paid electronically.  The moral side of me wants to say, “tough… you’ve been getting away with something considered illegal for ages, now you can’t!” whilst the real me understands that those affected by the creation of a much clearer paper trail are the low-earning professions and maybe they should be cut a [tax] break accordingly?

That article can be read here.

I’m sure Delicious will help churn up some more interesting pieces about living a cashless existence but, for now, I have to go back to work.

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