It’s clear that ownership of the local is Google’s next big push, with the appearance location awareness in Chrome OS and a very pro-active campaign for Places participation and Hotpot integration underway in Portland. The inclusion of NFC in Google’s strategy (the Nexus S will be the first device to bring NFC scanning to the masses) might signal a sea change in the way we do business, charge patrons, pay for goods, and to look up details on shop that has some cute little doohickies in the window.
It was revealed yesterday, by The 451 Group, that Canadian startup Zetawire was purchased by Google last August. According to CrunchBase, The company “was awarded a patent for mobile banking, advertising, identity management, credit card and mobile coupon transaction processing. This would allow the phone to make purchases without using a credit card.” So NFC is clearly a priority in Google’s strategy, though it isn’t clear how long we will be waiting before it plays a significant role in our daily lives.
I look forward to the day when, using Google’s NFC APIs, a third-party app (or even Android) allows me to exchange contact info with someone, merely by the wave of a hand. Or maybe I’ll be able to check a stray dog for an RFID chip. The possibilities are truly amazing.