Apple tech FOUND ON ANDROID: Passbook gets pay-by-bonk
It's what Steve Jobs would have wanted
While Apple and its Android rivals fight like cat and dog over smartphones, one piece of mobile technology from the iPhone maker has wound up on Google-powered devices.
Apple's Passbook app can store money-off vouchers, gift tokens, flight boarding passes and such paperwork, and flashes barcode-ish QR codes on iThing screens that are scanned by a reader to enable their use. Apple could use wirelessly transfer this data using NFC, as used by pay-by-wave systems, but its gadgets don't implement the tech - unlike rival Android devices.
However, Apple published the Passbook voucher format so developers on other platforms can play along with companies buying into the Passbook system. And software developer Attido has done just that by building Android app PassWallet that can use a phone's NFC electronics for pay-by-bonk.
PassWallet can also flash up QR codes to use a token, but if the person reading the voucher is using Skycore's CodeReadr then a bonk will do just as well, as this video shows:
NFC World spoke to Skycore, which has high hopes for the NFC capabilities of Android, and firmly believe bonking is the future of token redemption.
If nothing else it's got to make one wonder how long Apple can survive without NFC before iDevices start looking distinctly dated.
Some still argue that Near Field Communications is a technology looking for a problem, but the investment is now so great that even if it has no long-term future it's going to be everywhere for the next few years, and Apple surely won't be able to resist for that long. ®
NFC is more than pay by bonk.
Look at Sony Smart Tags. Program your phone to do all sorts of things when it comes into contact with one. Turn bluetooth on or off, mute the ringer, turn an alarm on...
How about having a NFC reader in your car? Put your phone on it, bluetooth comes on and pairs with the car, and the car recognises you as the driver and sets your mirrors, seat etc to your preferences.
Get to work, quick wave and the phone mutes, vibrate is on
Use it to pay for stuff? Security? no thanks... but to switch phone settings depending on location, yes please.
>Having to physically bonk phones into stuff seems so outdated in 2013.
The advantage of 'payment by bonk' as el reg call it (NFC everywhere else) is that the close proximity required for it to work, rather than Bluetooth which could be several meters or more away.
If I was paying for something, or accessing pre-paid for service, then I would much rather it be via NFC than Bluetooth.
e.g Imagine trying to validate you tube ride (oyster style) will hundreds of other people all with Bluetooth on at the same time. Or scenarios where others could pickup your Bluetooth enabled app more deviously.
As others have suggested use a finger print etc, but then I suppose you don't need the phone at all, just give them the finger (as the Reg might put it?)
Another technology looking for a problem, and similarly GPS has found it's way into lots of applications, far more than the original military use.
I personally don't trust NFC but I'm sure it will mature.