O2, Nokia and Transport for London are to trial Near Field Communications (NFC) handsets to host Oyster cards - so you'll be able pay for your tube journey using your mobile. The trial will be announced tomorrow morning but will likely centre around the Nokia 6131-NFC handset, as that's the only model with the technology …
One use of a mobile
So, you can use your mobile to swipe in...shame that you still cannot use a mobile in the underground in the tunnels...(still - that might be a benefit)
Now there's a reason to flash that sparkly new Nokia every time you squeeze past fellow commuters...
Not like you're going to be able to show it off in the cramped carriages...
One way to get your mobile stolen
So people will be expected to get their mobiles out as they leave the tube... thieves are going to love that!
What with the police encouraging people not to get their phones out as soon as they leave the tube station to avoid being targeted by mobile thieves this doesn't seem like a good way to get the petty crime figures down.
I'm on the trial.
I pick mine up on Saturday morning. Aparently you can also use it for the Barclaycard OneTouch system too so this should be fun.
So if your phone runs out of battery your likely to be totally stranded?
Re: Flat battery?
The system is supposed to be powered via radio waves, it's just RFID. But if there's a botched implementation of requiring the SIM to have control then the battery would be required.
What's the benefit of this, exactly? I can understand 'one thing less to carry' if you're talking about, say, an MP3 player and a phone, but an Oyster card is hardly a heavy burden.
Seems like a lot of effort for something that could be accomplished much more easily:
luckily the NFC won't rely on your battery, it works the same as your existing Oyster card using RFID.
remote controlled bombs
Where's the terrorism angle?
NFC == bad
So I can steal your ticket just by walking past you and man-in-the-middling the exchange with the barrier ?
Nope - 6131 NFC requires battery
RFID and ISO 14443 tags are passive devices (think USB client which just respond to a USB host device), powered by the reader's field. However NFC is a different matter. NFC allows a device to be both a card, and a reader - so following analogy - is both USB host and client - like USB On-The-Go. Thus allowing NFC devices to read RFID/ISO14443 tags, and also pretend to be these tags. This allows phone to phone comms for example.
Obviously, to be a reader, it needs to be powered - however, certainly in the case of the Nokia 3220 add-on NFC covers and the fully integrated Nokia 6131 NFC phone, the battery has to be charged for it to work as either a card, or a reader. This is because the phone itself manages some of the functionality.
So, yes, when your battery is flat, it's just a brick and you're stuck without transport (or maybe, stuck ON transport if it goes flat mid-journey). But, to make matters worse, from experience, as the battery runs down, the reliability of the reader/card becomes less. It doesn't need to be flat for it to stop working. Whenever we've had any issues with it, we've always topped the charge up first, before looking elsewhere for the issues. Often that solved it.
@ Chris Mear
you my dear sir are a legend!
although i can see the point about having a "swiss army knife" phone which can do everything (email, music, video, camera, washing the dishes etc)
My only issue is that the phone companies are making phones that can do everything AND being the same size as a credit card and by making them this small, their batteries have about the same life span as lady mucca's career!
personally i like the fact my phone can do everything i want in one device. but i like it even more that its big enough to notice when you have missed trying to put it into your pocket on a friday night drinking sesh but its big enough to have a battery that could power a small village for a year!
Make your own Oyster Mobile
You can make your own Oyster mobile phone right now. Just glue your Oyster card to the back of your phone. No battery, no security concerns, 100% compatible, and best of all that's one less thing to remember to pick up in the morning.
"Where's the terrorism angle?"
Come on. The is El Reg. Where's the Paris Hilton angle?