★ Starbucks Mobile: We Live in the Future

In the past week, I've done something new during my regular Starbucks visit: I've paid for my coffee using my iPhone. Using the Starbucks Mobile Card app, I've been able to complete an entire transaction without my wallet. What's amazed me is how simple and painless the process is: I open the app, tap the screen once, and hold it in front of a scanner. Transaction: complete. With NFC technology already being deployed in mobile devices and widely expected to be included in the next iPhone, we're rapidly approaching the point where our phones/pocket computers/helpful miniaturized robots will replace our wallets, and perhaps even our keys. Once again, folks: we live in the future.