Google CEO Eric Schmidt at what's in store for Android's newest handsets during a session at the Web 2.0 Summit on Monday (). In addition to providing a few new clues about the hotly anticipated release, Schmidt revealed that upcoming Android devices would include support for something called Near Field Communication.
Near Field Communication -- better known by its acronym, -- uses a combination of hardware and software to let you essentially . Future Android phones will have NFC chips built in, Schmidt said, and the Android Gingerbread release will provide the software needed to allow them to function.
So what's this NFC stuff all about, and how will it actually work with Google Android smartphones? Here's a quick primer on what you can expect.
One of the primary ways NFC will be used within Android will be as a , Schmidt says. Thanks to the chips' short-range wireless capabilities, an NFC-enabled smartphone will allow you to simply wave your device in front of a retailer's sensor and have your purchase immediately placed onto your credit card or banking account. It's something Schmidt refers to as a "tap and pay" method of purchasing -- and its impact could be enormous.