Paying for things on your phone using NFC is very much the shape of mobiles to come. With Google surging ahead with its Wallet trials over in the States and all of the UK networks (bar Three, for now) collaborating on a future payments system, the NFC revolution is well and truly underway.
But with just a handful of phones out there that are NFC capable and with NFC payments expected to launch at the second half of this year, there are going to be a lot of people still on contract with non-NFC phones that could be left out.
However Zoosh, a platform developed by start up company Naratte, has developed a way of simulating the effects of NFC that can be used on any phone with a microphone and loudspeaker – pretty much every mobile phone then.
Instead of relying on NFC chips, the Zoosh way of doing things uses ultrasound to transmit data between devices. In practice, it works in the same was as NFC does – you just wave your phone next to a Zoosh-ed up in-store reader and transactions take place almost immediately.
You can also use it to transfer virtual cash from person to person, as demonstrated in the video below.
It works in a similar way to Bump in that it doesn’t require an NFC or RFID chip to transmit data, but unlike Bump, Zoosh can work without a data connection, thereby increasing the number of places this could be used.
Zoosh SDKs have been released already for iOS and Android. So we well could be seeing Zoosh apps for these platforms in the not too distant future. We don’t see why this technology couldn’t be incorporated into Google’s wallet plans or the network’s big m-commerce joint venture.
Even if we don’t see Zoosh readers rolled out into local stores, we reckon it’d make getting that tenner back from your mate that little bit easier.