Purchase Online With Just a Wave of Your Hand
Discovery: Heads-up to all you credit card-slinging impulse buyers, especially if you're of the couch potato variety. Now might be a good time to attend to your swipe happy ways, because Mastercard is tinkering with a new prototype that's going to make racking-up ginormous credit card debt as easy as sitting on your futon, watching tube and snapping your finger. Quite literally.
Mastercard Labs recently organized a media show-and-tell event in midtown Manhattan to demo the latest app in shopping convenience called QkR. Besides being equipped with near-field communication (NFC) -- the hardware that allows your smartphone to buy lattes with a swipe -- QkR's most jaw-dropping (and potentially dangerous) feature is when it joins forces with an Xbox Kinect and allows users to make purchases with gestures.
Say you're flipping channels on TV late at night and your QkR and Kinect network is up and running. You come to an infomercial for a goofy shirt and on the screen are the instructions "wave to buy." So you oblige with a Jedi-like wave of your hand.
"A transparent-gray shopping dialogue popped up with fields for size, color and quantity. I bought the shirt, directed the purchase to ship to a stored home address, and I was instantly back at the infomercial, which had been playing behind the dialogue all along," explained Gizmodo writer, Mario Aguilar, who was on hand to demo the app.
If you're up late buying goofy shirts from infomercials there's probably a good chance you have a modified Honey Bear bottle being put to creative use on your coffee table. Don't worry, Mastercard has you covered when you get the munchies. Just mimic the act of cramming a slice of pizza in your mouth and up will pop a dialogue for purchasing food. (Somewhere, stoner couch potatoes are high-fiving each other.)
According to Endgadget sources, Mastercard representatives said soft-pilot testing is underway for QkR and an official, more detailed announcement could happen within the next couple weeks.