Also fresh from the Qualcomm show, Qualcomm itself is trumpeting that we should expect our mobile phone to replace our
wallet within the 18 months to 2 years, starting in the UK.
Using its BREW platform, UK customers will soon be able to check not only their bank balance but also use their phone to pay for other things on the high street like coffee at Starbucks.
Working in a similar way to the Oyster card on the London Underground users would be able to top up credit on the go all from their handset.
We here in the Colonies--pardon me, the United States of America--are heavily beta testing this technology in several markets. Qualcomm has signed up four of the big 10 banks in America, leading with Citi.
The company also outlined a vision of phones using Near Field Communication (NFC) to make payments via the system. Although NFC is currently only available in a handful of handsets from companies like Nokia, the system would allow you to merely wave your mobile phone at the cashier to make the payment rather than having to get out hard cash.
This means, of course, that phone theft will become as serious as wallet theft. As for myself, I'm thinking about starting a company to develop a remote control Tasing application to shock anyone who steals my phone. Also useful for making toast and de-scrambling pay-per-view TV channels.