It may seem as though smart phones are virtually ubiquitous now as just about everyone has one in their pocket or purse. It only takes a little bit of time with these incredible devices to understand exactly why they have become so popular with everyone from working professionals to school children throughout the world. They not only allow us to quickly and easily make phone calls or send text messages, they can also be used to interact on social networks, access information on the web, take and share pictures, play games, and even watch full-length movies.
But, what many people don't realize, is that there are even more uses for these devices in the very near future. For example, can you imagine using the smart phone that you currently have in your pocket as an access card to open doors? What about using it instead of a credit card to pay for everything from dinners at your favorite restaurant to the everyday household items that you purchase at the grocery store or shopping mall? In fact, you may even be able to use your phone to check out books from the library or to pay for parking.
While there are a number of ways to make this happen immediately, especially through the use of Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, most experts agree that the standard technology that will be utilized in order to make all of this happen is NFC, or Near Field Communication.
In most cases, an NFC chip is built into the battery of the phone and communicates by holding the phone close to a receiver or even tapping it against it. You may have actually seen individuals at fast food restaurants or even gas stations using their phone to pay for purchases rather than a credit or debit card. The benefit to using a phone is that most people always have their smart phone with them and readily available.
Of course, there are some concerns out there that using a phone for these types of things may not be as secure, but developers are hard at work making the standards even more secure than traditional key cards, biometric scanners, or traditional credit cards.
Another thing to keep in mind is that not all manufacturers have adopted the same standard. In fact, in the United States alone there are different competing technologies. Google, for example, has widely embraced one standard while Verizon, one of the largest carriers in the country, is actively trying to make its proprietary technology the industry standard. When it comes to businesses using this technology in order to provide security, there does still seem to be some debate as to exactly which standards will best suit their needs. Do they adopt a widely accepted standard such as the NFC technology used by smart phone manufacturers like Samsung and Google, or should they invest the money to develop their own unique technology?
Regardless of exactly which technological standards are finally adopted across the widest array of industries, the one unavoidable fact is that our phones are about to get a lot more useful than they ever have been in the past. From tapping two separate phones against each other in order to share files to swiping a phone across a door or credit card reader, there may come a time very soon when a phone is much more than a communication device, it actually becomes a person's entire wallet all in one handy, high-tech device. Companies interested in putting this type of technology to use today will find a variety of options available that can help them get started and provide their employees or customers with a unique alternative.