updated 09:05 pm EDT, Fri September 16, 2011
Mastercard shows off QkR platform for mobile
MasterCard has gone beyond Google Wallet to show a new mobile platform that could use multiple mobile technologies to solve mobile payments. Known collectively as QkR, they focus on QR codes for mobile payments but also audio cues, NFC short-range wireless, and even Microsoft's Kinect for the Xbox 360. One system would have an NFC 'coaster' that could recognize products shown on TV and let users tap an NFC-equipped phone or tablet on the coaster to buy whatever's on TV.
Others are either simpler or more complicated. At a minimum, MasterCard can see QR codes appearing on TV or other videos and letting users buy what they see on the screen. Shows could alternately have audio signals that would let a phone listen to a signal and bring up the cue without having to have NFC built-in.
NFC and QR codes could be used end-to-end in restaurants, MasterCard said. Visitors could use either to get both coupons and complete an order, including the end-of-the-night bill, without having to get a waiter.
Kinect would come into play as a possible third system. The credit card provider imagines customers making specific gestures to close a payment.
One or more pieces of the QkR platform could be unveiled within weeks, although when it would arrive isn't known. NFC is still rare in phones and will only get a formal launch with Google Wallet, outside of QkR, "soon." More Android phones and a handful of BlackBerry phones, like the Bold 9900 and Curve 9360, have just arrived or are coming, and firms like Apple are still rumored to be adding NFC either soon or in their next generation. Audio cues could work with virtually any smartphone. [via GigaOM]