Whether you like to admit it or not, your mobile phone is an extension of you. Never at an arm’s length away your smartphone serves countless purposes; it’s your alarm clock, phone, calendar, camera, email and so much more. Heck, with the right app it can even serve as a flashlight!
With the launch of the iPhone 5 expected this coming early Fall 2012, your smart phone is about to become a lot, lot more. The anticipated launch is rumored to bring with it Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. Defined by Wikipedia NFC is a way that allows smart phones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them or bringing them into close proximity to each other. This technology opens the smart phone market to a plethora of possibilities and will catapult what we now consider as our smartphones to be our lifelines.
One of the most exciting possibilities is going to turn your smartphone into your wallet. Loyalty cards, credit cards and even Interac cards will become virtual; being accessible by simply waving your phone at a pay station when making a purchase. We’ve already seen this type of technology with Visa’s payWave, a contactless payment technology feature that was released by the company in 2007. With NFC credit cards will become a thing of the past – your payment information will simply be stored in a chip on your smartphone and a transaction will be completed with data sent through radio waves.
Security is another area in our lives where NFC will make an impact. Theoretically, we will be able to store our door fob security number in our phones, making entry into our houses as simple as a wave of a smartphone at the door. This scares a lot of people but the truth of the matter is this is a lot more secure than using a separate set of keys. With services such as iCloud finding your lost or stolen iPhone is a lot easier than finding your keys. And if your smartphone is stolen, having a 4 digit pin set up to prevent unwanted access is an additional security measure you can add.
Regardless as to whether you own a Blackberry, Android or iPhone, your smartphone is about to become a lot more powerful, and a lot more entrenched in how it impacts your day-to-day life.