If we needed any more evidence that Google is investing heavily into near field communications (NFC), a new deal shows the search giant acquired Canadian mobile payment startup Zetawire. Leila Makki reports.
The short-range high frequency wireless communication technology enables an exchange of data between a chip and a reader. Analysts at the Inorganic Growth/the 451 KnowledgeBase uncovered the acquisition, which according to the patent, provides for "mobile banking, advertising, identity management, credit card and mobile coupon transaction processing."
Toronto-based Zetawire enables consumers to make purchases using their smartphone instead of their credit card. According to 451 KnowledgeBase, the company has trademarked the name "Walleto" (ie.
Google has remained quiet about the details of the deal, which closed in August. However, it wasn't until last month that chief executive Eric Schmidt pledged his support to 'contactless' technology at the Web 2.0 Summit. Last week, Google unveiled the Nexus S - the first smartphone running on the new Android 2.3 OS (Gingerbread) which supports NFC-capability.
But the competition is catching up as the next iPhone will have NFC support and Research in Motion are also planning to roll out NFC-capable Blackberry's next year. The world's largest handset manufacturer, Nokia has also announced that all its smart-phones introduced from 2011 onwards will come with NFC.
please sign in to rate this article