The NFC I am rooting for is Near Field Communications. Using NFC is how I envision a scene that played out in my head when I was reading an Alan Dean Foster novel many years ago (I think the novel was Orphan Star, but it was a long time ago). In that book, two people have decided to perform a financial transaction. One person checked his balance on a card he was carrying, saw there was enough and made the transfer to the second person. All without need of a physical transfer of fungible items.
For the most part, we are there with the ability to transfer money between Paypal accounts from a smart phone. What will get us completely there, would be the addition of NFC (and biometrics, but I'll get to that). With NFC enabled on my (and my transaction partner's) phones, a financial transaction could simply be a process of tapping out the amount to transfer, putting the two phones in close (a few centimeters) proximity, and allowing the process to happen. Why NFC is integral is that it doesn't work for distances beyond a few centimeters (approximately an inch). This significantly reduces the potential for data theft that can occur via the Bluetooth technology (both using RFID signals). Android phones already are implementing NFC technology, but iPhones are not; they are thought to be doing so this fall with the phone following the 4S. At that point, all that's needed is the Paypal app that can implement it. I do realize that Google Wallet is already possibly implementing NFC, but who uses it in comparison to Paypal?
Now let's really take it to the next - and I believe attainable - level. Instead of a lame 4-digit code to unlock the phone, make it biometric and seamless. My hand grabs my phone, and it recognizes that it is me and completely unlocks it. Someone else? Well, there can be various levels of access. For example, my kids would get to play some games, maybe see some photos. Someone other than me that tries to access it multiple times without me unlocking it, the phone shuts down. Heck, add in an automatic call as stolen and reveal its location, and/or scrubs all contents. Secure and safe. Am I OK with my data scrubbed? Yes, because I back up my stuff... do you?
While I am at it, there needs to be increased durability. Exiting smart phones are still too fragile. Gorilla glass, for all its strength and scratch resistance, can't take a fall. I have high hopes for Liquidmetal that is rumored to be in consideration for the next generation of phones.
I want something as durable as a credit card, with biometric recognition, NFC data transfer, and self charging either through PV or kinetic recapture. I'm not asking for much. Oh, and I want it when my current iPhone 4S is in need of replacement. Sound good?