Imagine being able to use your mobile phone to pay taxi and mass transit fare; use vending machines; make retail purchases; and check in at hotels. Every day, millions of citizens in Japan, S. Korea, and soon Singapore do so simply by waving their mobile phones in front of point-of-sale terminals using near-field communication or related technology. But, while the technology is readily available in the US, it will be some time before Americans can use their cellphones as mobile wallets.
Routesy is an iPhone application that uses the phone’s GPS to let the user know where and when the next train or bus is coming. The application’s developer, Steven Peterson, talks about why a mobile application makes sense, especially given that this transportation information is already available on the Web.
The problem with telepresence is that it's not universally accepted, because video calling isn't. While we can all do video calling, we also apparently worry too much about how we look. If we want HD telepresence in our future, we have to dress down, mess up our hair, and dive into our online life.
The city of San Francisco is on the leading edge of using the Internet to provide government transparency. It is providing WiFi for its have-nots, and its DataSF.org initiative is putting the city's valuable data back in the hands of its citizens, with innovative results.
In the final episode of this series about the death of Internet anonymity, Saunders describes how the Internet of the future will start to attain a level of intelligence that requires no human intervention. Scary.
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