Intel says Toshiba's hybrid Ultrabook will be the first of its kind to sport NFC technology.
At the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) 2012, Intel said that Toshiba's Satellite U925T will be the first Ultrabook on the market with built-in near-field communication (NFC) technology. During the show, the hybrid Ultrabook was set up to demo a possible purchase using a MasterCard PayPass-compatible card. This tech will allow consumers to make purchases without having to enter and/or store their credentials anywhere on the device.
According to a hands-on by DailyTech, Intel's demo showed how consumers can purchase the Toshiba Satellite Ultrabook on TigerDirect.com using NFC tech. On the page was an option to purchase the device by clicking the green "Buy With PayPass" button. After that, a PayPass wallet pulled up, giving options for signing in, or to use the PayPass Tap & Go option.
After choosing the latter option, the user was instructed to tap the NFC reader, located on the palm rest and placed to the left of the touchpad. Once the card was placed on the Ultrabook, the reader pulled in all the required credit information – including the user's the billing/shipping info – and automatically filled out the order form. After that, the user merely submitted the fake order to complete the transaction.
Essentially this method prevents the user from typing in their PayPass password, or entering in all the sensitive information manually. Intel claims that the system is secure, that the e-tailer doesn't receive the user's credit card number, but rather gets its verification from MasterCard.
Unfortunately, we haven't seen anyone try to use the system with Google Wallet thus far. In theory it would be the same process although the user would swipe their smartphone or tablet instead. Using Google Wallet also means that consumers can use any credit or debit card, not just a MasterCard. Google Wallet will generate a fake PayPass credit card number that hides the customer's real credentials.
Will this be a more secure form of online shopping? The thing to remember is that sensitive information is stored with MasterCard or Google rather than remaining on the laptop or an online storefront. Yet that doesn't mean either party won't be hacked and everyone's private information is spilled onto hacker forums. But this method – making purchases by tapping an NFC-capable smartphone, tablet or card on an NFC-capable Ultrabook or other receiver – seems to be a step in the right direction of making secure payments.
Toshiba's Windows 8 hybrid tablet is slated to launch alongside Microsoft's new blocky operating system on October 26. Featuring a slide-out QWERTY backlit keyboard, the Satellite U925T can be used as a 13-inch tablet, as a notebook, or as makeshift AIO desktop-like PC thanks to a sliding hinge mechanism. Features will include two USB 3.0 ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity and more.