• Making Purchases with Zero Effort

    Posted by Rob Knies

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    Imagine that you walk into a store, select an item to purchase, and approach the cash register. A wireless-proximity transmitter within your smartphone detects your presence, and a facial-recognition program determines your identity. The transaction is recorded onto video, and, as you stroll out, a receipt is emailed to you, along with a link to a video of the purchase.

    It’s convenient, it’s secure, and, given the popularity of smartphones, it just could be the future of commerce.

    The scenario above is no idle fancy. In Building 99 on Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., campus, it’s currently a reality, part of the Zero-Effort Payments research project, a rethinking of mobile payments by the Mobility and Networking Research group at Microsoft Research Redmond.