Boston Public Transport Skipping NFC for Barcodes
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has revealed plans for a new smartphone-based ticketing service that will make use of barcodes rather than near-field communications. The system will use software from a company called Masabi that allows passengers to purchase tickets directly from their smartphone. Passengers will then show their smartphone to ticket collectors, which will display an animated watermark with a background color that changes depending on the day. Ticket collectors can also choose to scan a barcode on the smartphone's display with their own smartphone, should they want to verify further the validity of the travel pass. The Masabi system will work with Android, BlackBerry, and iOS smartphones. The MBTA hopes to cut down on the number of tickets purchased on trains and believes this system will help. It said it decided to skip NFC-based systems because the ecosystem is not mature enough and too costly.
Hands On with Panasonic's Toughpad Phone
Panasonic has a new rugged smartphone for field workers. It's big, tough, and scans barcodes like a champ.
New Yorkers Can Now Buy Train Tickets From Smartphones
Commuters who ride select Long Island Railroad or Metro-North routes can use the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's new eTix app to purchase, activate, and use train tickets. The MTA says mobile ticketing is available to those who ride LIRR's Port Washington branch or Metro-North's Hudson Line, with support for all branches/lines due by the end of August.
Nokia Forms Alliance to Standardize Mobile Transit Tickets
Nokia's HERE Maps division and other companies today announced the Open Mobile Ticketing Alliance, a new organization they hope will create a single, global standard for NFC-based mobile transit tickets. The goal of the OMTA is to develop a "register once, travel anywhere" system that's interoperable with payment vendors and transit operators around the world.
MacOS Sierra Works Better with iOS and Adds Siri
Apple says the next version of its desktop operating system, renamed MacOS, will work better with iPhones and iPads. Apple has made improvements to its Continuity feature so its is easier to pass stuff between iPhones and Macs.