Recently, we've seen technology companies realizing the potential in launching new products or concepts at major sporting events and other festivities. IE9 showed up at SXSW, Silverlight was a heavy hitter at both the 2010 Winter Olympics and The PGA Masters, Twitter and HP teamed together with the iconic Tiesto to host a concert from Vegas on the web and we've even learned that the 2012 London Olympics will feature new UHDTV technology. This week, add Samsung and Visa to the list of Olympic participants, as they will be launching payWave, an NFC wireless payment system, at the London games.
We have the full details after the break.
3,000 stations have been set up through the many Olympic stadiums to allow press, spectators and athletes to pay for the things they want via the near-field communications system. Instant purchases can be made up to £15, with higher purchases requiring a code to be entered. You will also be able to check your balance and transaction history.
Google Wallet has been around for a while (problems included), so while NFC isn't exactly new technology, this will be the first time we will see it in a major event supported by a credit card company.
What will you need to be able to use payWave? Visa and Samsung have already taken care of the point-of-sale side, so all you will need is the appropriate phone and application to go with it. At this time, Visa has approved the Samsung Olympic Phone, the Samsung Galaxy S II, the LG Optimus Net NFC and, oddly enough, the BlackBerry Bold 9900, Bold 9790 and the Curve 9360/9380. Now, some of these devices, along with hundreds of other handsets out on the market today, don't have NFC capabilities built-in. The fix? Visa may offer a microSD card with an NFC chip on it so more devices can make purchases. This allows Visa the ability to not restrict customers to devices with NFC already built-in. However, because of the need for a microSD card, iPhone users need not apply here.
Will this make purchases easier and will we see it become a worldwide staple for buying goods and services? On July 27th we shall see the beginning of the potential future.