No More Waiting on Near Field Communication

Start-ups are making mobile payments work without dedicated hardware

3 min read
cell phone in hand.
Image: Patrick Pleul/DPA/Landov

For years, when analysts and engineers talked about phones replacing our wallets, they focused on a single technology: Near Field Communication. NFC allows devices located within a centimeter or two of each other to establish a wireless connection.

But eight years after Nokia, Philips, and Sony founded the NFC Forum, the technology still isn’t common in phones. In the United States, only two models, available on the Sprint network, have shipped with the NFC hardware to support Google Wallet. (Verizon Wireless’s Galaxy Nexus phone has an NFC chip, but the company initially blocked its use for Google Wallet.) Certainly, there will be more NFC-enabled phones to choose from in the future: Over 100 models have been announced for 2012, according to analysts at the Swedish firm Berg Insight [PDF], more than twice as many as the 40 models released globally in 2011.

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Video Friday: Turkey Sandwich

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

4 min read
A teleoperated humanoid robot torso stands in a kitchen assembling a turkey sandwich from ingredients on a tray

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

CoRL 2022: 14–18 December 2022, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

Enjoy today's videos!

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New AI Speeds Computer Graphics by Up to 5x

Neural rendering harnesses machine learning to paint pixels

5 min read
Four examples of Nvidia's Instant NeRF 2D-to-3D machine learning model placed side-by-side.

Nvidia Instant NeRF uses neural rendering to generate 3D visuals from 2D images.

NVIDIA

On 20 September, Nvidia’s Vice President of Applied Deep Learning, Bryan Cantanzaro, went to Twitter with a bold claim: In certain GPU-heavy games, like the classic first-person platformer Portal, seven out of eight pixels on the screen are generated by a new machine-learning algorithm. That’s enough, he said, to accelerate rendering by up to 5x.

This impressive feat is currently limited to a few dozen 3D games, but it’s a hint at the gains neural rendering will soon deliver. The technique will unlock new potential in everyday consumer electronics.

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Accelerate the Future of Innovation

Download these free whitepapers to learn more about emerging technologies like 5G, 6G, and quantum computing

1 min read
Keysight
Keysight

Looking for help with technical challenges related to emerging technologies like 5G, 6G, and quantum computing?

Download these three whitepapers to help inspire and accelerate your future innovations:

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