Today at the Web 2.0 Summit, Google CEO Eric Schmidt kicked off his interview by pulling out a new, hitherto unreleased Android Phone (it’s almost certainly the Nexus S). He also revealed that the newest version of Android, codenamed Gingerbread, will bring with it a very interesting new feature: Near Field Communication.
You may not have heard of NFC before, but it’s a very exciting technology (and it’s actually been around for a while). The gist of it: new Android phones will have a chip that let you tap a sensor with your phone to complete an action. That sounds vague, but it’s got plenty of practical applications. One of them involves credit cards — you’ll be able to hook up your credit card to your Android phone, and conduct transactions simply by tapping your phone against a sensor.
There are plenty of other possible uses too. Tap your phone against a location-aware sensor, and it can check you into whatever venue you’re standing in, without having to bother with any application.