@AC (Use a name gutless buggers)
>your suggestion about using the phone's camera to purchase things relies
>on the ability for companies to bill for products against a mobile number
>(or some other stored payment information against a service you connect to),
It requires your phone to accept a pin and send a message to your bank.
>requires the phone to have an active internet connection
Well, it requires the phone to have a _network_ connection, not internet at all.
>the picture to be taken clearly
Enough for the phone to register a barcode, if that fails then they can enter the bar code manually. Entering a barcode isn't a challenge.
>and a call to not come in part way through
Not really, the connection doesn't have to be open a long time.
On the phone.
1. User fires up purchasing app.
2. User scans barcode.
3. Phone displays price and other purchase info gleaned from the code. Asks for PIN.
4. User enters PIN.
5. Phone sends single encrypted message to bank service, with price, item, and vendor info.
6. Bank sends single message indicating success or failure of transaction.
At the bank.
1. Bank receives encrypted payment request.
2. Bank authorises payment.
3. Bank sends message over their network authorising vendor.
For the vendor.
1. Receive purchase request and payment authorisation from bank.
2. Give product.
The other plus point here is that the vendor doesn't need to know the who the seller is. Oh, and you don't need a camera API, you can enter the barcode through the keypad.
Good points on the passive nature of NFC I hadn't gleaned that from the article.
>The first guy to get a telephone installed didn't have anyone to call
They never installed just the one phone!
Regarding room entry, the Formula 1 chain in France already does self service, have a look at how they do it, and then decide if you really need a special telephone for it.