Slideshow Light and Sound Take a Bite Out of NFC

  • December 08 2013, 10:02pm EST
11 Images Total

Many payments companies are testing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, which has a wider range, and is considered an alternative to, Near Field Communication for executing mobile payments. BLE-based technologies are also being developed for customers to check into stores and for merchants to deliver marketing and loyalty programs. Here are few companies giving BLE and other NFC alternatives a try. (Image: Thinkstock)

Shopkick's Sweet Tooth

The mobile rewards company is using BLE to power its ShopBeacon product, which has been deployed at Macy's locations in New York and San Francisco. (Image: Bloomberg News)

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PayPal Checks In

PayPal recently introduced PayPal Beacon, a plug-in device for merchants that detects when shoppers running PayPal's mobile app enter a store. (Image: PayPal)

A Capital Idea

Capital One recently announced its new mobile point-of-sale solution for small businesses, Spark Pay, which enables business owners to create and distribute special offers through a variety of in-store and near-store marketing campaigns including SMS messages, mobile banners, social media and Bluetooth Beacons. (Image: Spark Pay)

Clinkle's Secret Sauce?

Clinkle, a payments startup whose investors include PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel that's generating a lot of buzz in Silicon Valley, is being mysterious about its technology — though reports say it will be powered by high-frequency sound emitted by smartphone speakers. (Image: Clinkle)

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Apple Backs BLE

Developers who got an early look at Apple's new iOS7 operating system say it supports BLE, which has a range of up to 50 meters. Last week ,Apple announced began using its iBeacon technology at its retail stores in the U.S. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Taking the Shuttle

Adyen's Shuttle connects to smartphones and tablets wirelessly through a Bluetooth connection. The device is available in 17 countries within the European Union. (Image: Adyen)

Recognize Them?

Microsoft's Zero-Effort Payments (ZEP) system uses BLE technology instead of NFC. It also uses facial recognition software from its Kinect gaming system. (Image: Thinkstock)

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Alipay's Noise Play

Alipay, which uses audio signals to power person to person payments, is also using ultrasonic noise to enable payments in the Beijing subway system. (Image: Thinkstock)

Samsung's Whole New Galaxy

Technology embedded into the proximity sensor of the Galaxy S4 will allow developers to generate one-dimensional bar codes by sending pulses of light from the phone into a sensor in POS scanners. (Image: Bloomberg News)

Lost and Found

Coin, a dynamic card provider, is including BLE in its new developer kit, while Bluenio, a U.K.-based security technology company, has been using Bluetooth Low Energy technology to alert users about lost items for about seven years. (Image: Coin)