Rating: It may eventually be possible to use a Motorola Razr
PayByPhone will be demonstrating its NFC (Near Field Communication) powered parking payments solution at the forthcoming Parkex exhibition at London’s Olympia exhibition halls between April 17th-18th [2012}. This follows its first successful deployment for motorists in Tunbridge Wells [England] was the first time in the UK that NFC enabled smartphones could be used to pay for parking. Customers using the PayByPhone system can download and install Android, iOS (iPhone) and Blackberry apps. Of course, there’s no NFC enabled iPhone app yet.
However, there are a number of BlackBerry and Android handsets which are already commercially available. The list includes several BlackBerry Bolds and Curves as well as numerous Android handsets.
There’s a full list of UK NFC enabled handsets available herecourtesy of NFC World. Android handset manufacturers mentioned include Acer, Google, HTC, LG and Samsung.
If you have an NFC enabled Android or Blackberry phones in order to use NFC and pay for parking all you have to do is follow three very simple steps.
1. Tap the NFC enabled mobile phone over the NFC logo on the PayByPhone sticker. This launches the PayByPhone app, complete with a unique parking location number.
2. Enter the length of time you want to park.
3. Enter your card security number and confirm the details.
PayByPhone has placed stickers embedded with secure NFC tags onto all pay and display machines in council-run car parks in Tunbridge Wells.
Since PayByPhone took over the phone parking contract in February, the number of motorists regularly using the service has increased by 21 per cent and the number of phone parking payments by 14 per cent month on month.
Robin Bevan, commercial CEO with PayByPhone, claimed, “NFC payments are set for rapid growth in the UK during 2012 when millions of NFC enabled smartphones will become available.”
Millions? That’s a bit hopeful. More like thousands.
Anyway, GoMobile News was shocked to discover that buried away in its loan Motorola Razr Android handset is an NXP PN544 NFC controller. This curious fact was revealed by Engadget magazine.
Its seems that the capability hasn’t been enabled. There’s a possibility NFC might become available when Motorola rolls out Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) for the handset.
In the meantime, has anyone managed to hack the OS and get NFC going?