Payments by cellphone are obviously a hot area right now, with everyone from SanDisk and Philips to Visa and Nokia to PayPal getting into the game. And if you needed any more proof that it is for real, the NFC Forum (that's Near Field Communications, for anyone not versed in the lingo) have just announced the first five specifications for cashless payments by cell, although the full specs will only be available "sometime between July and September." What we do know is that the NFC's architecture will include specifications that define a modular NFC device, as well as protocols for interoperable data exchange, device-independent service delivery, device discovery, and device capability. That also includes specifications for smart posters or other advertising, which contain embedded tags that can deliver content to cellphones. And, unlike some other standards committees, the NFC Forum has most of the major players in the industry on side, so it doesn't look like we'll see much controversy over these specifications.

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