say “buy” with your phone

While I’m on the topic of phones…

Today I came across some very potentially important news . Sprint is partnering with movie ticketing giant/annoying ad purveyor Fandango to sell and issue movie tickets via cell phones. The issuing mechanism is pretty novel. Once tickets are purchased, a message including a scannable barcode is sent back to the phone. The specific of this aren’t what’s most important however. Just the fact that it is happening is important. Asia has been buying things out of vending machines with their cell phones for years, and we might be *slowly* catching up. But remember, we’re 7 years behind. Here’s a bit more on Asian eCash.

While I think it’ll be neat to pay for a cab or Mountain Dew with my phone, what I’m most concerned about is how libraries will or will not embrace the delivery of content and services via cell phone. Now I know…we’re having a hard enough time letting people pay their fines or apply for a card online, but we should probably be thinking about both today’s problems and tomorrow’s.

About two years ago I wrote a post titled the power of texting in which I mention incorporating texting into holds notifications. Recently, Michael Casey linked to Teleflip, a universal email to text service, and highlighted how it could indeed be used to send a hold notification.

Phones aren’t getting any less featured, right? Right now, it’s more difficult to find a phone without a camera than it is to find a cameraphone. Wow. These little devices will increasingly be an always-on link to the Web and will give us a convenient digital interface to the physical world. But instead of just talking to a physical human being, we could be unlocking our cars, doing our laundry, and feeding our dogs. Perhaps we’ll even be using them as our library cards and paying library fines with them.

Leave a Reply