News in brief from the NFC world and beyond: LG bringing NFC phone to US? • No NFC yet for Sony Ericsson • ZTE works on NFC and biometrics • Signbox lights up NFC • LSE examines NFC privacy • New NFC solution for retailers • Intuit adds mobile payments acceptance.
LG BRINGING NFC PHONE TO US? Wireless Goodness has spotted an FCC submission from LG Electronics that refers to model number L-07C and describes a ‘phone with NFC’. Last week, two Korean publications reported that LG is set to bring out a US$200 Android NFC phone. The reports refer to the new device as the LG Pecan but it’s not clear at this time if the phone submitted to the FCC is the same device or if it is a different model.
NO NFC YET FOR SONY ERICSSON: Handset manufacturer Sony Ericsson has unveiled the Xperia Arc, a mobile phone that runs Google’s Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system but does not support NFC. “For every individual device we are making the trade-off between cost, in terms of performance, in terms of all the things that we pack in,” Sony Ericsson’s Steve Walker has told Pocket-Lint. Support for near field communication in future devices is on the cards, however. “Without specifically predicting any product launches we do believe it is something that will come into the portfolio pretty soon,” says Walker.
ZTE WORKS ON NFC AND BIOMETRICS: Chinese handset manufacturer ZTE has applied for a patent covering the integration of fingerprint verification into NFC devices. The idea is that a fingerprint reader would be built into the phone and then used to verify the user’s identity each time they wanted to make a payment with their NFC phone.
SIGNBOX LIGHTS UP NFC: UK signage specialist Signbox has launched Enlighten, a stylish back-lit smart poster system incorporating NFC technology. Enlighten is available in standard A-series paper sizes, from A4 to A1, with a black or white frameless mount as standard, and with custom colours available to order.
LSE EXAMINES NFC PRIVACY: Nokia has sponsored a new study into the implications of NFC and user privacy to be conducted by the London School of Economics (LSE). Researchers from LSE will investigate how information generated by customers of mobile services is being used and whether customers’ behaviour is affected by concerns about privacy. They will also look at the regulations and policies governing NFC in Europe and Asia and consider the incentives and barriers to the commercial development of NFC.”Our study will include recommendations for policy makers to help them understand the social and economic implications of NFC-based systems,” says project leader Jonathan Liebenau.
NEW NFC SOLUTION FOR RETAILERS: ARS Interactive and CellPoint Mobile have launched an integrated mobile retail shopping solution that combines product information, coupons, customer loyalty and NFC payments. The new solution “can provide a single access point into retailers’ core environments, such as CRM and POS, enabling a targeted view into customer interaction,” says Kristian Gjerding, CEO of CellPoint Mobile.
INTUIT ADDS MOBILE PAYMENTS ACCEPTANCE: The QuickBooks accounting software maker has added a credit card reader that attaches to a wide range of mobile phones to its GoPayment payments service. Transactions conducted with the new mobile service are synched automatically with QuickBooks, enabling small businesses to reduce manual data entry and ensure that books are always up to date.