Now for my next mobile computing trick….

October 29, 2011

Our M.C.’s (mobile computers and phones) have come a long way since my first $4,300.00 brick in 1988. Not only in technology and computing power, but in its sheer intrusion in our daily lives.

The resounding comment back then was it’s a fad; it will never catch on; it’s too expensive and really nothing you have to say and nothing I have to ask you is so important that it can’t wait till you get to a land line.

Fast forward to today and we have an Australian population of 22.3 million and 24 million connected handsets.

We already know that today’s mobile phone is far more powerful than the computer that launched us to the moon in the 60’s, but the innovation, purpose and new frontiers are all still ahead of us.

Jason Jordan of Perth’s 6PR and I in our weekly segment had a look over the near horizon of mobiles and chatted about NFC and QR code technologies.

NFC – Near Field Communication – has been on the cards for a while, but is now just about to hit. It is the ability for our mobile devices to set up gateways between ourselves and others and share information and payments, the best way to comes to terms with it, is it to take a quick look at this video.

NFC will be hard wired into new mobile phones within the next 6 months and with some certainty will be a feature of the next iPhone released.

Banks and credit card providers are also pushing hard on bringing this to reality as everyone has a financial stake and incentive in shifting forever the paradigm of technology expense and ownership onto the consumer.

And consumers, once they get used to it, will find it a boon as they use one device for their keys, wallets and communication – the Swiss army knife equivalent of managing most of our day to day affairs in one little handy carry in your pocket device.

QR codes are the other short term new mobile phone toy. It looks like a bar codes on steroids. To activate it download a free QR code reader from your app store (I recommend I-nigma).

This app turns your smartphone’s camera into a QR code reader and allows you to take a picture of the code and for the smartphone to automatically call up the web address and show you its contents – think of it as the mobile phone equivalent of getting a URL in an email, when you click on it it automatically takes you to whatver the sender wanted you to see.

For a really interesting example take a look at how Tesco in South Korea uses it to sell groceries to travellers waiting to catch their trains:

For more on this topic, listen in to this weeks segment:

and listen live each Sunday at 4.40 p.m. (WST)