Feeds

Intel implants cash register to help flog Ultrabooks

NFC tech backed by MasterCard

The essential guide to IT transformation

MasterCard and Intel have announced they'll be working together to put NFC readers into Ultrabooks that will secure online shopping as well as user identity.

The agreement between Intel and MasterCard involves putting PayPass-compatible terminals into Ultrabooks, so any thus-equipped Ultrabook will be able to operate as an electronic till for secure online payments, as well as supporting the NFC standard for reading company IDs and suchlike as well as connecting to other NFC devices.

Near Field Communications isn't really fast enough to synchronise data, but it is ideal for exchanging connection details, so NFC devices can be tapped together to set up a Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi, connection, but that's nice-to-have rather than a killer feature which will make someone buy an Ultrabook.

Ultrabooks already come with a secure identity, a unique ID embedded in the processor as "Intel Identity Protection Technology", but adding a PayPass reader expands that into the physical world. Companies should like the idea of workers logging on with a tap of the corporate-ID, and payments would be a lot more secure authenticated with PayPass then they usual typing of 16-digit numbers.

Not that this is the first attempt to integrate payment technology into a computer. Swipe-card readers have been available in keyboards for years, and at one point American Express was sending out chip 'n pin readers to any customer who asked.

But those schemes rely on the computer to process the transaction, and in these days of Trojans and hackers the computer can't be trusted. Embedding a PayPass reader in the Ultrabook should remove that dependency, with the computer just responsible for conveying the (encrypted) communication between the reader and MasterCard's servers, and displaying the result to the user.

Whether that's enough to make people buy Ultrabooks is more difficult to say. So far the market for the even-lighter-notebook-computers has proved very costs sensitive, and while adding NFC might be cheap it still has an incremental cost which the Ultrabook bill of materials may not be able to stand. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?