Visitors to Google’s I/O conference can tap their phones against special NFC posters at this year’s event and be automatically checked into Foursquare.
This is a public test of some bleeding edge stuff Foursquare has been working on for a while. As note in the blog post, “NFC is, obviously, a long way from being available everywhere and in all phones, but we’re excited by some of the potential.”
Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley has a history with Google, which acquired and eventually shut down his first location based service, Dodgeball. The appearance of Foursquare at this conference, instead of Google’s homegrown Latitude service, has SAI’s Dan Frommer speculating about a reunion between the two.
The next generation of smartphones will most likely include technology that would enable mobile payments. Google is already planning trials of NFC payment systems, shouldering the cost of installing special readers at thousands of merchant locations.
Now NY1 is reporting that the city is looking to institute similar technology in place of the current Metrocard system.
This could act as a much needed catalyst, giving the average New Yorker a chance to get comfortable with what might seem at first like an alien practice, using their phones as mobile wallets.
As Erick Schonfeld points out, consumer behavior and lack of infrastructure are the two biggest challenges facing widespread deployment of NFC. Backing from big, powerful entities like Google and city government would go a long way towards addressing those obstacles.
Betabeat is imagining a future of checking in to the subway, with special rewards for dutiful F train riders.
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