Sprint introduced its Pinsight Touch platform designed to unlock the unrealized potential of near-field communications technology for mobile payments and other wireless applications. Sprint said Pinsight makes it easier for developers to build NFC support into their apps, as well as secures data needed to make mobile payments and unlocks other NFC features when users tap their handsets onto certain smartphone readers.
Rounding out its hotel reservations via mobile, Expedia has added airline bookings to its applications. More than 200 airlines are included among the options, and search results can be arranged according to duration, price and time. The new apps, for iOS and and Android, also offer mobile-only deals on hotel rooms.
Nokia's Ovi Store online application market has increased its inventory eightfold to 40,000 over the past year, but the cellphone maker's alliance with Microsoft has made the store's future uncertain. Nokia said Tuesday that downloads now number 5 million daily, adding that despite the company's plans to work with Windows Phone 7, it will continue to support the Ovi Store.
VeriFone Systems says momentum is growing for use of near-field communications technology in smartphones this year, and the company predicts that it will ship more than 1 million NFC-enabled systems in 2011. Devices equipped with NFC technology allow smartphone users to shop by waving their handsets over bar codes. "We're already seeing major systems purchases from some of the flock leaders in large retail asking for NFC capability," VeriFone CEO Doug Bergeron said.