Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone first to allow scanning by standard POS systems

Integrated technology allows scanning of loyalty cards, gift cards, coupons

SAN FRANCISCO — A new technology will allow standard point-of-sale laser scanners to scan coupons, loyalty cards and gift cards on the Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone without any changes to existing technology.

Mobeam, which presented at a recent Samsung event in New York, said the Galaxy S4 would be the first smartphone to integrate its light-based communications technology to beam traditional 1-D barcodes. The company said the vast majority of existing point-of-sale systems are unable to communicate with smartphones. Mobeam converts barcodes, coupons, loyalty cards and gift cards into a beam of light than can be read by standard laser scanners.

"Mobeam's vision is simple: to make mobile commerce work with existing point of sale technology," Mobeam CEO Chris Sellers said. "Making cutting-edge smartphones work with barcodes might not sound sexy, but it means consumers now have the ability to beam items such as coupons, loyalty cards, gift cards and event tickets at millions of locations — something that was previously impossible. Barcodes are universal and won't be replaced any time soon, meaning retailers don't need to upgrade their existing POS systems."

Mobeam has also partnered with Procter & Gamble to create a mobile coupon system that the companies said would make shopping with coupons easier and faster for consumers and retailers at the same time.

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