O2: music fest fans to feast cash-free

Mobile phone payments on trial at O2 Wireless Festival

Near field communication (NFC) technology is to be trialled at this year's O2 Wireless Festival . The mobile telecoms company says that eventually the technology will eliminate the need to carry cash at music festivals.

The O2 Wireless music festival takes place in London, and also Leads, from 15 to 17 June. During this time various applications of NFC technology will be trialled.

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NFC is a technology which enables devices to wirelessly communicate with each other when placed in very close proximity. Using this method, mobile phones can be used to make transactions in a similar way to how you swipe an Oyster card on the London Underground.

If it catches on, it would advance e-ticketing to the stage where a phone could just be swiped across a reader to grant access to a museum or festival. This would be instead of having a person read information from the phone's screen.

Useful technology

O2 has this year managed to sell £200,000 worth of e-tickets to its music festival; more than any other year.

Most mobile phones today are not compatible with this technology though - only Japan has fully embraced it so far. But it is thought that by this time in 2008, most phone manufacturers will be including it in their devices.

Random festival goers will be selected to trial some of the new NFC devices during the O2 festival weekend.