Saturday, September 24, 2011

From hacking Times Square billboard to the big board

Cloud computing technology will surge to $600+ billion by 2016

New York – For a few hours last Thursday, the Cloud touched the ground and enveloped gaudy old Times Square in its foggy grasp.

NFC Bootcamp, a marketing outfit that trains retailers, merchants and marketers how to make use of the power of cloud marketing, enabled pedestrians to engage with an interactive, 38-foot high digital display in a demonstration of NFC - near field communications.

It's a new and sweeping technology that now claims a $32 billion share of the world's commercial revenue stream – a figure that is projected to jump to about $618 billion by the year 2016

What does it do?

Wave your SmartPhone, iPhone, Blackberry or other personal communications device at a toll plaza and get a ticket to exit whatever. Board the Washington, D.C. - LaGuardia shuttle and pay in the departure lounge by SmartPhone. Go through a subway turnstile in your favorite urban multiplexi-city, and you're good to go when you thumb that iPhone.

Send your passport information to a customs or immigration inspector in most places on the globe and get your visa stamped. Show your ID? The driver's license, medical card, and membership documents will be included in your phone's application files.

Thumb and forefinger your code into the keyboard and pay your mortgage, deposit a check, transfer funds or make reservations on a flight to paradise – two tickets, if you please.

When you deplane in Pango Pango, if an interactive hotel billboard catches your eye, wave that phone and get reservations for a poolside cabana, a complimentary sailboat ride and a trip to the spa for the lady fair.

Big players involved in the transition to the commercial cloud include eBay, , PayPal, and AT&T's Isis system, Verizon Wireless and Discover Financial Systems.

Rumor has it that the first target areas will be San Francisco and New York. Companies will receive a percentage or fee for each transaction.

The new teams include Google and MasterCard and Citigroup, with plans to embed technology on Android devices.

Verizon Wireless, AT&T and T-Mobile are looking to team up on a venture called Isis which will enable users to pay for goods with their SmartPhones.

Apple is keeping mum, but industry players expect the iPhone giant will embed the technology in their devices. Research in Motion will equip future phones with NFC.

How prevalent is the contact-less reader revolution among merchants?

A Federal Reserve report cited an industrial estmate that there are 70 million of them already in the hands of service providers, including debit and credit cards, and 150,000 of the devices installed by merchants.

Who benefits? Stock analysts predict the patent holder, NXP Semiconductor (NXPI) will probably surf the crest of a 41% rise in revenues that will likely make it the next Google,, or Netflix on the block.

After its weak IPO at a price below the expected $18-20, the stock fell to a little below $10 before making a dramatic climb to a high of $35 and its present tag in the range of $27.

With a debt level of $4.6 billion and a market cap of $6.8 billion, it's an unleveraged entity in a market where the sky is – literally – the limit.

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