Another piece of smartphone research has hit the headlines, this time regarding NFC or Near Field Communications.
NFC is a technology which enables your phone to read (and write) information from everyday objects with NFC chips embedded in them, such as T-shirts and posters.
Moreover, it can facilitate “wave and pay” mobile payments, which may lead to smartphones replacing credit/debit cards in the future.
And according to Juniper Research, in just three years time, one in five smartphones which carry NFC technology, some 300 million estimated handsets.
IT Pro reports that the research indicates that North America will be the biggest adopter, unsurprisingly, with half of those smartphones being in the US. Western Europe will follow in second place.
The author of the report, Howard Wilcox, commented: “Juniper’s market analysis highlighted that, although there are still hurdles ahead, NFC prospects have been boosted by the succession of mobile operator and device vendor announcements.”
“France is a case in point where operators expect to sell one million NFC devices this year.”
The NFC gears certainly seem to be grinding faster, with a number of companies announcing their Near-Field intentions this year. These include Everything Everywhere and O2, Google’s plan to hitch up with Citigroup and MasterCard, and Microsoft bringing NFC to Windows Phone 7 later this year.
Samsung is also planning on working with Visa to produce a branded Olympics handset which boasts contactless mobile payments.
Apple, however, still reckons it’s too early in the technology’s development to include NFC on the next-gen iPhone, which may (or may not) emerge at the start of summer.