Google has called the press to its New York City offices this morning to discuss its "Google Wallet" initiative. The search engine is expected to announce its working with cell phone manufacturers and retail chains to create a near field communications (NFC) system that would allow consumers to pay for products using their smart phones.
NFC allows communications between two objects at a very close range, less than 5 centimeters. So, presumably, you would tap or swipe your phone against a reader and then enter a PIN into the phone's keyboard. No cash, checks or credit cards needed.
Some credit cards employ a similar technology already.
More exciting than NFC for checkout, says Rhomobile CEO Adam Blum, is the ability to browse the store goods with your phone.
Because the computer chips are so cheap, every product in the store could be readable by your smart phone. Want to know the origin of the cotton in that shirt?
Tap your iPhone on it.
Want to see recipes you could use that can of tuna for? Tap it with your Android.