Could Near Field Communication tech bump-off Bump?

Nov 21, 2010
Finance

Bump Technologies, launched in 2008, enables users to transfer funds and information by bumping their smartphones together. And now, Bump in version 2.2 for iPhone enables music sharing. Bump your iPhones to play songs for free to stream tunes on YouTube or to preview them and purchase from Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes store. Jennifer Van Grove […]

Bump Technologies, launched in 2008, enables users to transfer funds and information by bumping their smartphones together.

And now, Bump in version 2.2 for iPhone enables music sharing. Bump your iPhones to play songs for free to stream tunes on YouTube or to preview them and purchase from Apple’s (AAPL) iTunes store.

Jennifer Van Grove reports in Mashable that Bump is “making an educated bet that music sharing will follow in the footsteps of photo sharing, which is now the most popular feature of its applications.” Users share more than a million photos a week using Bump, according to CEO David Lieb. “We think Bump is the simplest and easiest way to tell your friends about songs and artists you love,” he says.

Bump-ers also can share contacts and calendar items as well as link up at Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

But Bump per se may have had its day. A new kid on the block, Near Field Communication (NFC), appears on the brink of knocking off Bump, sending to the same fate ‘70s fad dance The Bump.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt told the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco last week that new 2.3 versions of Android, known as Gingerbread and due anytime now, will support bump and mobile payments on smartphones. But not with Bump, but with NFC.

He even demonstrated a bump to waken a “mystery phone,” possibly the Nexus S.

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Jon Evans in TechCrunch says NFC opens up a variety of possibilities, including phones serving as credit cards, keys and ID.

Bump your phone on a NFC sensor and you can pay your bill. Some retailers expect to introduce NFC next year.

Android phones will have the NFC chips. So will smartphones from Nokia (NOK) and Research In Motion (RIMM). And apparently, so will Apple’s iPhone.

Evans adds: “Spare a thought for Bump in this brave new world. What need will anyone have for a service that brilliantly mimics NFC, once the real thing appears? So long, Bump.”

And hello, bump.

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Howard Wolinsky

Howard Wolinsky is a Chicago freelance writer specializing in health and tech topics. He covered those beats for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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