This fall, tablet shoppers will, for the first time, have near field communications (NFC) enabled devices available within two of their choices, both of which will be seven-inch Android 2.3 models from TazTag and Sharp.
The TazTag device is a combination of NFC with a biometric finger scanner, in addition to Wi-Fi, GPS, ZigBee, Bluetooth, as well as optional 3G. On the other hand, the Sharp RW-T107 is a tablet that is more enterprise-focused which supports Sony Felica’s version of NFC.
The two companies made their own separate announcements of their NFC devices in the same week. NFC is already available in a few Japanese smartphones which have the Sony Felica form of the technology. However, in other countries, the Samsung Nexus S, an Android-based device, as well as the Nexus S 4G smartphones are the only mainstream devices with NFC.
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The Nexus smartphones have Google Wallet compatibility, allowing for mobile payments at points of sale. The Google Wallet service is predicted to become available in San Francisco and New York City before the end of August 2011. Other plans for NFC-based payment services have also been announced by companies such as Isis mobile payment platform (from Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T), on top of a service from PayPal that will allow peer-to-peer payments.
Isis stands out as unique among these different mobile payment services as it is currently being supported by all four of the major credit card companies: Visa, MasterCard, American Express, as well as Discover.