HTC Watch movie downloads to spearhead m-payments for Vodafone

27 May 2011

HTC Watch, the new high-def movie downloads service that comes with the HTC Sensation ‘superphone’, could be the catalyst for a new m-payments venture by Vodafone that will allow users to buy goods online or in-store and put the charge onto their phone bills.

HTC Watch is a new movie rental system that enables users of HTC smartphones to download at present up to 600 premium movie titles onto their mobile devices and watch them in HD on either their mobile devices or on a 1080p high-def TV via a HDMI accessory.

The HTC Watch service was launched this month in the UK and will launch next month in Ireland.

The service at present accepts payment by credit card but in the coming months Vodafone will move the payments to in-billing systems, explained head of terminals at Vodafone Ireland Lanre Animshaun at the launch of the HTC Sensation ‘superphone’ in Dublin.

Animshaun said when the service launches in Ireland it will initially process credit card payments.

The move to online payments via operator billing is an exciting move, potentially sparking an m-commerce retail revolution where mobile operators can utilise the value of their sophisticated billing relationship with millions of users.

HTC Ireland country manager Gavin Barrett confirmed HTC is working with Vodafone on operator billing.

HTC Sensation

The new Sensation features rounded edges, an aluminum unibody construction and a contoured screen.

The 4.3-inch qHD display delivers high-resolution widescreen viewing and the device is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor.

The device comes with the latest HTC Sense Experience, with new features, such as a customisable active lockscreen experience that transforms the lockscreen into a real-time window to the most important information and content, such as social updates, photos, weather or stock updates that are viewed by simply turning on the display.

In addition, the new active lockscreen becomes a customisable gateway that lets people quickly jump to the most-used features, like making a phone call, sending an email, taking a picture or anything else with the same quick gesture usually used to unlock the phone.

For instance, the camera can be launched right from the lock screen with a single motion, saving precious seconds when you’re trying to capture the action.

As well as sharper graphics, the latest version of Sense comes with a more cinematic and immersive weather experience with stunning imagery and audible weather effects.

The Sensation also comes with an 8-megapixel camera that shoots full HD video in 1,080p resolution with full stereo sound at up to 30 frames a second.

HTC Sense also makes it easy to have fun by enabling people to capture and share special moments. The HTC Sensation’s 8-megapixel camera doesn’t just shoot gorgeous photos but, with the new instant capture feature, lets people capture the moments they want without worrying about missing or keeping up with the action. The HTC Sensation also shoots full HD video in 1,080p resolution, with full stereo sound, at up to 30 frames a second, giving users smooth video.

A new Video Trimmer tool allows users to crop their clips to the perfect size for easy sharing with friends and family.

HTC Watch

The HTC Sensation is also the first HTC smartphone to feature HTC Watch – an application and service that puts an entire library of the latest, premium movies and TV shows right at your fingertips, letting people discover the latest video content in an easy and visually engaging way.

HTC Watch uses progressive download technology that makes it possible to watch videos without waiting for a huge file to finish downloading. HTC Watch offers the choice of renting or buying videos, and if purchased, lets you watch them on up to five different HTC devices.

The HTC Sensation will be available exclusively from Vodafone until the end of June and is available online immediately and in-store from 1 June.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years