At the Web 2.0 Summit today, Google CEO Eric Schmidt offered more details into Android 3.0, A.K.A “Gingerbread,” and it’s NFC-based mobile payment solution. Combined with next-gen smartphones running the new OS, Android is set to become a mobile commerce powerhouse.
With a new “unannounced device” in hand — which is likely the upcoming Samsung “Nexus S” — Schmidt explained the device will come pre-installed with an NFC chip (Near Field Communications) to allow for contactless payments. Combined with the Gingerbread operating system, users will be able to tap a physical map point to pay with their mobile device in lieu of credit cards or cash.
Schmidt also disclosed that Google will partner with third-party payment processors and continue to look for monetization opportunities through advertising, effectively marking it’s formal entrance into the soon highly-competitive mobile commerce space. The new technology, which is being called “Bump for Everything,” will be baked into the Gingerbread release slated to come out in a few weeks time. With Android’s growing prevalence among smartphone buyers, the new hardware/software solution will likely become the first major deployment of a mobile commerce strategy for the masses, though Apple will likely follow suit in its next iteration of the iPhone hardware/software — which is already said to include NFC technology as well.