Mobile Currency Notes, Digital Loyalty Cards, Keyless Entry to your Car and more
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Say hello to the new form of money...your mobile. If this prediction by Sam Pitroda is true, you would soon be dumping your wallets in your trashcan!
Ok, maybe soon was an overstatement, since the article claims that paper money will be extinct only in 30 years. But think about it, 30 years to extinction means that adoption of mobile currency could happen in a much shorter period. Most likely it would be the governments which finally would make paper money extinct by...recycling it most probably.
As a person whose pockets are usually filled with stuff, I couldn't be more relieved...frankly.
The pocket, thats the thing. Haven't you noticed that most of the choices you make while buying your product are ultimately reallly small and stupid things? The broad concept of any product is always nice, but its those small things that really differentiate brands. No wonder Steve Jobs marketed the iPod as "putting a thousand songs in your pocket". Make no mistake, Steve Jobs didn't make millions by designing a cool, snazzy, sleak and efficient product, he made millions because he put a thousand songs in your pocket, in the most convenient an unobtrusive way.
So, putting Steve Jobs' little gem of knowledge back into this mobile money concept, I think a nice way of defining the goal for mobile money is not to be bothered about the money itself, but to be bothered about "emptying your pocket". Here's my recipe for doing this.
1. All operations would be done via the mobile phone, its already our music player, camera, photo album and navigation device and not to mention, a phone.
2. For theft safety the mobile phone should be paired with a bluetooth based RFID device, which you'd wear around your neck as an amulet, or a ring. If the mobile doesn't get your id, it doesn't perform any operation that can threaten your security, like a financial transaction or such.
3. Your mobile phone should be able to unlock your car...keylessly, i.e. it senses your proximity, verifies your identity and unlocks
4. You should be able to hit a button somewhere in the phone settings to erase every inch of personal information you have on your phone, so that you'd be able to sell your phone safely without worries.
5. A nice little switch on the RFID ring or amulet should be able to switch it into some kind of a "fake" mode. This fake mode would make the phone perform all operations as if everything was normal, except that no transaction or such would be carried out. This would really help when you're threatened at gunpoint.
6. Your mobile phone should handle loyalty programs, discount coupons...all from a single centralized interface.
7. The physical location at which a transaction occured should be noted via the GPS chip on your phone in the transaction logs for investigation purposes, if needed.
8. Every key in the world should be replaced by a bluetooth key which would open based on your RFID tag.
And this is just the small list that I can think of now.
Sounds like a lot right? It is, in order to reduce the burden in my pocket, I've touched on the telecom industry, the automobile industry, banking and finance, a small part of logistics(RFID handling) and probably many more once I get all the ideas together.
Is this feasible? Who knows...are we heading in this direction...definitely. As for me, I'm just going to sit back and think of another interesting article to pen. Got my trusty leather wallet for now, and hope that someday, my pocket will feel a wee bit more comfortable.
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