At Atlanta’s Philips Arena, a select group of season ticket holders will soon be able to waive their cell phones in front of their team’s poster and instantly download game notes, team logos or video games.
About 250 Hawks basketball and Thrashers hockey season ticket holders will recieve cellphones from Cingular to participate in the trial. Chase Bank is also providing the means to provide financial transactions through the technology. Once that phase starts, the fans will be able to skim their cells by wireless transmitters at concession stands to buy hot dogs and soft drinks. The trial should start within a few weeks.
Sponsors say it is the first large-scale test in the U.S. of cell phones armed with near-field communication chips. The trial will help them develop the kind of “contactless” payment system that is already used in some Asian countries, like the FeliCa system in Japan.