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Kyocera Takes Pay-by-Phone Up a Notch

Where have we heard this before?

As should have been made clear yesterday, the whole mobile-as-credit-card thing is not any kind of new idea in Japan. No, such companies as Kyocera are one and sometimes two steps farther down the road than their American technology cousins.

Such is the case with the company’s new Wi-Fi/CDMA handset, which can be used in conjunction with a WiMax-B PC card to approximate Visa transactions. This is an update of existing technology, including the kind that AT&T unveiled just yesterday.

Demonstrating the technology at CTIA, Kyocera showed off the phone’s ability to buy a beverage from a vending machine and to buy a movie ticket without using any paper. That particularly impressive technology used a code on a movie poster at the theater entrance to transmit the moviegoer’s intention to see a particular film.

The handset was notable as well for its CDMA/Wi-Fi convergence, another sign of things to come.

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