We knew this is coming, and also that among the first people to try it out will be the citizens of either Japan or South Korea. The latter won this race and now customers of a single McDonald’s restaurant in western Seoul near Yonsei University can skip the queue while ordering by using the mobile technology.
Earlier this week, SK Telecom have showed a new ordering system which relies on a mobile phone and infra-red sensors to let customers make orders from their table and sends them a phone message when the meal is ready. Each table in the restaurant is equipped with an RFID reader and a menu that has built-in RFID chips. Customers should download the “Touch Order” application from SK Telecom’s Nate mobile Internet service, plug the reader into their mobile phones, and point them at the desired item on the menu. Best of all, the payment is integrated with the carrier, meaning you won’t even have to use your credit card. However, it is required that your mobile phone was made after June 2005 in order to support this technology — which doesn’t sound like a limiting factor in the high-tech Korea.
The epilogue is easily predictable – SK Telecom wants to expand this technology into a few more stores by December, and sooner or later the people of Korea will be able to pay their stuff solely with their mobile phones. Wondering when will this hit the Western hemisphere…