It’s the holidays, and no doubt many of you will be out shopping for gifts for your loved ones and friends. By next year’s season you may be paying for your holiday gifts at your favorite retailers using a tap-to-pay app on your phone.
Tap-to-pay apps utilize Near Field Communication (NFC), a technology that allows you to pay by holding your phone up to a retailer’s register and tapping a button. With the launch of Apply Pay in October and the card companies mandating all merchants accept NFC payments in 2015, we may have reached the tipping point for tap-to-pay. Near Field Communications seems to be popping up everywhere in my life lately. When I boarded my first ride on Tucson’s new light rail, all I had to do was tap my rail pass to an NFC device to pay for my ride. When I visited my phone carrier to upgrade my phone and plan, the salesperson twisted my arm, successfully, to get me to sign up for an American Express Softcard for the Google Wallet (tap-to-pay) app I didn’t even know I had.
I love new technology like this, but what I really need is a tap-to-read app. I’m hoping that Apple or Google will invent a Near Field Book Reader soon so that I can hold a book up to my forehead (or the Google Glass that some kind soul gives me for Christmas) and instantly have the experience of having read the whole book. That way I would find the time to read all of the amazing sounding twentieth-century novels that you recommended in response to my “Iris Murdoch Made the List” article; Asking for Love by Roxana Robinson, recommended by Constance Richardson, for example. I could quickly get to all of the amazing books published by Wheatmark recently as well, like America’s Schools at a Turning Point by Corky O’Callaghan.
But, alas, a tap-to-read app is not likely to be a reality anytime soon, so I guess I’ll have to keep grabbing those interstitial times waiting in the lobby of the dentist’s office, riding on light rail, or flying in a plane to sneak in some reading. Life is so short for a world awash in great books. Here’s hoping that lots of people buy your books as gifts this holiday season, and that you find some time to read a book or two as well!