Believe it or not, one of the newest features included in the Samsung Galaxy S4 makes use of some old technology: the bar code. Thanks to a company called Mobeam, the Galaxy S4 uses "light-based communications" or pulses of infrared light to trick scanners into detecting a bar code.
At first it seems difficult to discern what such a feature would be used for, but there is yet a purpose. Mobeam believes that their technology will allow smartphones, or in this case the Galaxy S4, to interact with more point-of-sale systems. At its core, Mobeam's technology is essentially an old-school type of NFC. The main difference being that the light communications would interact directly with scanners and point-of-sale systems.
While NFC hasn't been widely adopted in retail yet, traditional scanners have been in use for quite some time. Even better, with Mobeam's technology no additional equipment or hardware is required. The Galaxy S4 can beam anything with a barcode to an estimated 165 million scanners worldwide. It can beam coupons, tickets, loyalty card numbers, personal ID numbers, you name it!
To ensure that a notable provision of barcodes would be offered, Mobeam partnered with Proctor and Gamble to create a mobile coupon system. A unique API for use with Mobeam's technology will even be available for developers soon. As with most API and SDK kits, anyone will be able to build compatible apps for the technology as soon as it's available.
It doesn't hurt that Mobeam chose the leading mobile company in the market as their platform of choice. Surely it doesn't hurt Samsung's coffers either.
This seems like a much more viable option when it comes to mobile payments and on-the-go payment processing. No additional software or equipment is needed, and it's compatible with any traditional scanner. You can go into your local grocery or department store, armed to the teeth with digital coupons- all stored on your Galaxy S4.
Folks, the future of the mobile industry certainly is beautiful. I'm sure you'll find it silly that I say something like this about mobile payment technology, but just consider the incredible potential!