NFC

Sony Xperia sola officially announced with camera gestures and NFC tags

That "Pepper" handset we saw yesterday didn't stay obscure for very long. Sony has just announced the Xperia sola (keeping its maddening trend of strange capitalization going strong) for launch in the second quarter of 2012 in Europe. Other territories will follow, presumably including Japan and (eventually) the US. The Sola fits in between the Xperia U and Xperia P announced at Mobile World Congress earlier this month, adding in premium features including camera gestures and NFC tags.

Juniper predicts NFC payments to hit $74 billion by 2015

Do you have Near Field Communication (NFC) built into your device? Probably not. But that doesn't really matter, because the future of smartphones has NFC well under its wing. At the moment, you'll find that very few devices (such as the Nexus S and Galaxy Nexus) are NFC compatible, thus making Google Wallet still relatively new to the public. Despite its unpopularity, Juniper research predicts NFC payments will hit $74 billion by the time 2015 rolls around.

Acer announces Liquid Glow with Ice Cream Sandwich

LG, NEC, HTC, and a host of other alphabetically rich manufacturers have already spilled the beans on their Mobile World Congress 2012 wares, and Acer has no intention of being left behind. Today they've announced the Liquid Glow, which we are assured is a smartphone (as opposed to a shampoo or a car wax). This decidedly mid-range phone has all the basic goodies crammed into a 3.7-inch form factor, with the notable addition of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich at launch.

Bicycle prepares playing cards with NFC and Android apps

Fifty-two cards, four suits, with an ace and three face cards in each. It can't get much simpler, right? But it can get a whole lot more complicated. That seems to be the thinking behind Bicycle's new Jacked Up! cards, which feature an NFC chip embedded in each card. The cards can be read by any smartphone with an NFC chip, plus a free Android app. Separate decks will be sold for Solitaire, Hearts and War. (War? Really?) The Jacked Up! decks were displayed at the International Toy Fair, and should be available in April.

Moneto brings NFC to older phones with $30 MicroSD card and app

Want NFC capability? Stuck in a two-year contract with a phone that doesn't have it? Then you're in luck: Moneto is bringing near-field communication chips crammed into standard MicroSD card slots, and using an Android app to add in basic NFC payment capability to almost any Android phone. Theoretically, anyway: at the moment it only works on Samsung's original Galaxy S  and variants for United States carriers - the Vibrant, Fascinate, and the Galaxy S 4G. They're working on adding compatibility to about three dozen phones from Samsung, Motorola, Sony, HTC, LG, and Huawei.

LG swipes at NFC with Optimus LTE Tag

LG's second new Android smartphone for Mobile World Congress is the LG Optimus LTE Tag, and the company is hoping you'll get into the habit of tapping it against your dashboard. A 4.3-inch 1.2GHz dual-core handset - that looks, almost ridiculously so - like Samsung's Galaxy S II - the Optimus LTE Tag includes both 4G LTE support and a few sheets of sticky NFC labels that can be used to switch the smartphone between various modes.

Google Wallet PIN can be compromised on rooted Android devices

When progressing through a Google Wallet transaction via NFC, the system requires the user to input his/her PIN to follow through with their transaction. Zvelo, a respected security firm based in Colorado, has communicated to Google that due to their current security architecture, rooted devices PIN information is at risk. Most of you are not included in this small pool of people, and should be safe.

Sound Pound NFC lands on Android, say hello with NFC

We have an interesting application that just landed in our inbox today and figured we'd share it with our readers. NFC is still a niche in Android that has yet to really take off -- although Android Beam should help things out. Today we have an NFC app that is actually fun, and not just for mobile payments. Meet Sound Pound NFC.
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