Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. Google CEO Eric Schmidt shows off the potential of the next generation Android phone.
What Makes Him Haute: Eric Schmidt was brought on board at Google in 2001, and he took the company public in 2004. The Google tri-chief oversees an agenda that continues to wield influence in the tech industry and rake in the dough. It’s moved into new markets (and into more direct competition with Microsoft) with the launch of a mobile phone operating system and an open source web browser. Schmidt’s also been busy integrating acquisitions into Google, such as YouTube. He currently sits on the board of trustees for Carnegie Mellon University and Princeton University, and is a member of President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
What Makes Him Now: Will wallets soon join the ranks of obsolete items such as hand written letters, landline telephones, and cameras with film? At the recent Web 2.0 summit Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave a preview of what the new Android Gingerbread phone will be able do. The next generation of Android will come equipped with a Near Field Communication (NFC) chip that will allow your phone to act like a wallet. NFC functions as a mobile payment system by enabling you to swipe your phone in front of a retailer’s sensor and have your purchase automatically billed to your credit card or bank account. Schmidt believes NFC will be more secure than using a credit card since your personal information will be encrypted and password protected. There is even testing being done to enable NFC phones to function as hotel keys. “People don’t understand how much more powerful these devices are going to be” said Schmidt. Of course, NFC’s success depends on retailer support, but with other major mobile carriers getting on the NFC wagon, prospects are looking good. It’s time to think of a new Christmas present for dad.