As the worlds of Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, and other wireless technologies converge on the mobile handset, the pressure is building to have an open architecture so that new applications can proliferate.
Open APIs are the coming thing in Motorola and Nokia handsets and both companies are hard at work building and supporting independent software developers much as Microsoft did for the PC and Palm did for the PDA.
And things can only get more exciting as NFC (near-field communications) rolls out enabling secure financial transactions for all sorts of things such as purchasing theater tickets and having the tickets downloaded to your cell phone.
You might think of it conceptually as a smart card in your mobile phone. But because of the mobile's link to the outside world, you are not limited to transactions in which the reader (or tag) is only a few inches from the phone.
There is much work still to be doneand business models to be constructedbefore we become "wirelessly wired" to the global economy.
The major impediment, particularly in the U.S., is the stranglehold that wireless carriers have on applications and the mobile devices themselves.
As Columbia University professor Tim Wu said in a recent blog, wireless carriers are "aggressively controlling product design and innovation in the equipment and application markets to the detriment of consumers."
For more on this topic: Call's out: Open cellular nets.
Let's hope NFC helps move the carriers in a direction more conducive to satisfied customers.
If you're interested in finanical transactions over NFC ecosystems, I suggest you visit the site of a new company named Venyon: www.venyon.com/.