Mobeam has announced that Samsung’s recently-unveiled Galaxy S4 will be the world’s first mobile device to integrate its light-based communications (LBC) technology so it can beam traditional 1-D barcodes. As per the press release, the Galaxy S4 will be able to use this to engage in transactions at millions of locations worldwide without requiring retailers to make changes to their existing point of sale (POS) systems or technologies.
Mobeam converts barcodes, coupons, loyalty cards and gift cards into a beam of light that can be read by each of the estimated 165 million laser scanners in use today by retailers worldwide. This potentially solves the main problem with using smartphones for transactions—the lack of specalised equipment.
With the technology, the Galaxy S4 can beam traditional 1-D barcode data to any laser scanner with no additional equipment, such as optical scanners or backend systems, required by the retailer. As Samsung noted during this year’s MWC, retailers prefer barcodes because they don't have to install any new infrastructure to support them.
The Galaxy S4 will be getting a new method for making payments
“Mobeam’s vision is simple: to make mobile commerce work with existing point of sale technology,” said Chris Sellers, CEO, Mobeam. “Making cutting-edge smartphones work with barcodes might not sound sexy, but it means consumers now have the ability to beam items such as coupons, loyalty cards, gift cards and event tickets at millions of locations – something that was previously impossible. Barcodes are universal and won’t be replaced anytime soon, meaning retailers don’t need to upgrade their POS systems. The mobile industry now has a commerce technology that can work everywhere, and the world will see it first on the Samsung Galaxy S4.”
The Galaxy S4 was announced by Samsung at an event held in New York. The phone itself looks fairly similar to the Galaxy S3, but there are some slight aesthetic changes. Notably, the back is a lot flatter and the sides have also been straightened out. Overall, it's less curvaceous, although nothing like the bold changes we were told to expect. The sides have a chrome trim, which could be faux aluminium, but we will have to wait for the actual device to check it out.
Here are the key specs of the Samsung Galaxy S4:
- 5-inch full HD Super AMOLED (1920 x 1080) display, 441 ppi
- HSPA+, LTE, GPRS/EDGE
- Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
- Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR and A2DP
- GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
- MicroUSB 2.0 with MHL, USB On-the-go, USB Host
- 13-megapixel primary camera with LED flash, Simultaneous HD video and still image stabilisation, 1080p video recording.
- 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 1080p video recording @ 30fps
- 16/32/64GB internal storage with microSD card for further expansion up to 64 GB