Using near field communication (NFC) technology to make mobile payments is nothing new. But now Japanese mobile maker NTT DoCoMo aims to launch a handset which lets you pay electronically for items using your mobile without removing it from your pocket or bag, Reuters says.

In Japan, people already use their mobile phones to pay in shops and at train stations, but NFC technology hasn't quite kicked off over here yet.

Data transfer at the touch of a finger

Unveiled yesterday, NTT DoCoMo's handset uses a sensor that sends electric signals through the human body to transmit data. This enables electronic payments or data transfer at the touch of a finger. It's the first handset to integrate this type of near-field communications technology.

"Doors to secure areas would open as your phone transmits your ID code through your feet, or you can get in a car and have the car instantly adjust the seat and steering wheel to the perfect angle," said NTT DoCoMo spokesman Takushi Koinumaru.

The NFC handset isn't likely to be available for several years though. "We don't know yet if we can commercialise this technology," Koinumaru said. "We need to conduct more research. Then we need to see if there actually is a market for this."