Near-field communications may sound all sci-fi, but it’s really just a chip that lets you do things like bump your debit card against a sensor when you want to pay for gas.
The newest version of Google’s Android operating system, code named Ginger Bread, will act as a sort of electronic wallet.
Users can simply touch their phones to a sensor and pay for items using Google Checkout, Paypal, or a number of other systems.
Google’s typically garrulous CEO, Eric Schmidt, was abnormally reserved yesterday while showing off the new technology, probably under strict orders to avoid putting his foot near his mouth while debuting something as sensitive as an electronic wallet.
Schmidt also showed off the technology on a secret new phone (the manufacturer was disguised with a piece of black tape), which is rumored to be the second coming of the ambitious but short-lived Google Nexus phone.
The new Nexus S will supposedly be available, as before, without the restrictions or crapware that comes with buying a phone subsidized by a carrier like AT&T or Verizon.
bpopper [at] observer.com | follow me on Twitter @benpopper
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