HP is the latest mobile device manufacturer to throw its weight behind near-field communications (NFC), and will incorporate the technology into future smartphones and tablets based on its webOS operating system.
The vendor plans to release NFC-enabled devices by the end of the year, allowing users to pay for items, and collect coupons and loyalty points, according to a report on Bloomberg.
HP purchased ailing handset maker Palm for $1.2bn last year in an attempt to gain a foothold in the mobile segment, and is gearing up for a big push with the release of the Pre3 and TouchPad devices next month.
Google has been pushing to get NFC technology into the mainstream. The Google Nexus S smartphone was the first device to feature hardware capabilities, but its uses have been limited.
Google has been carrying out extensive trials in the US, and unveiled the Google Wallet app at the end of May. The firm plans to launch the service this summer, allowing Google Nexus S owners to pay for purchases at up to 150,000 US stores.
RIM has also been vocal about NFC technology, and confirmed that the BlackBerry Bold 9900 will ship with the wireless capability. HTC, Nokia, Sony Ericsson are also said to be interested.
Apple, on the other hand, has taken a backseat and it is almost certain that the iPhone 5 will not ship with NFC software onboard.
Meanwhile, Orange and Barclaycard partnered to launch the first UK contactless payment service in May. Orange Quick Tap allows payments of up to £15 in over 50,000 outlets around the country, including Pret A Manger, McDonald's and Subway.
The service works only with a Samsung Tocco Lite smartphone, but there are plans to expand it to other devices in the future.
NFC is expected to take off in late 2011 and analyst firm Juniper Research predicted that the technology will be built into one in five smartphones by 2014.
Over 23 million NFC-capable smartphones are expected to be in circulation by the end of 2011, according to Juniper.
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