Another faction is making it possible to make mobile payments. The WSJ reports that Google, Citigroup and MasterCard have teamed with NFC to create the function on Android smartphones. The service is Google ad and discount supported and the other two companies make their bucks from retailer credit fees. Look for the service sometime this year.
American Express has set up a payment system similar to PayPal. 'Serve' users create an account and can send or receive payments. Access includes the company's iOS, the Interweb, Facebook and Android apps. The bad news is that there is a $2.00 ATM fee and a 2.9% and $0.03 per deposit discount for cash, debit and ACH. The good news is that if you get it now, the first six months are free and your first withdrawal for the month is free.
Toshiba has a new DisplayLink-powered Mobile LCD Monitor that attaches via USB. With a 14" 1366 x 768p display and brightness control buttons, it has a 16 millisecond response, a 400:1 contrast ratio, support for Windows 7/XP/Vista and optional AC adapter usage. Weighing a mere 2.8 lbs., it comes with a carrying case and stand at a price of $199.99.
When Nintendo launches its 3DS March 25, they are adding an extra benefit. Users will be able to get free WiFi at AT&T's 10,000 hotspots. This means that not only can you play to the max, you can buzz up on Starbucks Trenta. Look for a $250 price for the portable game system.
It becomes scarier out there every day for kidlets who continue to disappear on the way to school. Soft Bank Mobile's ZTE 005Z Phone has one pre-programmed number, limited outbound calls and a one button alarm should the child feel threatened. A cord that works like an early "The Farmer Says" emits a super-loud buzzer, and sends SMS and voice messages with location. The 005Z will be available this March, starting in Japan and a basic plan runs ¥490 (~$5.90) a month.
Sony's new PSP2 has a 5" LED screen and WLAN and 3G support. Gamers will be able to go online wherever they are and play games, and stream video and music from Qriocity.com. The PSP2 will also have front and rear cameras as well as two sets of button controls and motion sensors. Unveiled in Tokyo last week, the portable system is being named a NGP (Next Generation Portable) because of its advanced technology. Available at the end of the year, no price has been named as yet.
Angry Birds is coming out in a new version for Valentine's Day. Rovio has updated their game in pink for sweethearts who want to topple pigs as a team. Available the 14th, no specific platforms have been announced and we hope there is more than just that pinkish tint.
Nintendo's new 3DS will soon be upon us. The portable gamer can play both 3D and regular DS games without the use of those nasty glasses. It can also take 3D images with its included camera. About 30 games will be released before the summer, including titles like 'Splinter Cell 3D,' 'Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition' and 'nintendogs + cats.' Set for release March 27, you can preorder now for one in basic black or aqua blue.
The iSound Portable Power Max is more than a basic charger. Five USB ports allow charging to both mini and micro devices with included cables. The battery has a whopping 16000 mAh, LED indicators, power button and built-in flashlight. A 100/240V AC/DC adapter is included in the package.
GM has teamed with Powermat to make it easier to charge your electronic devices while tooling around town. About $5 million dollars have gone to Powermat to include the device in next year's Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac. The charger has already been added to this year's Chevy Volt.