• Twitter Co-Founder Brings "Square" To The iPhone

    The Register is out this morning with an interesting read on the new offering from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Dorsey, it turns out, is behind a new mag-stripe reader for the iPhone.

    Coming only days after the other Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said 2010 will finally be the year that Twitter proves profitable, hopefully Dorsey isn't moonlighting as a hardware developer to make ends meet until Twitter actually turns a profit

    Dorsey's "Square" service comprises a magnetic strip reader balanced precariously on the bottom of an iPod Touch, or iPhone, along with an application which processes the transaction and e-mails a receipt. It's no wonder that VC's have already handed over $10m in cash and can't wait to give him more.
    For now, here's what we know about the mag-stripe reader. It connects through the audio jack and draws power from the swipe. And as far as your signature is concerned, a good old-fashioned finger-traced outline of your John Hancock will do the trick. The "Square" also provides the customer with a confirmation email of the transaction if - and only if - they first input their e-mail address.

    Those who choose to register with the service can also upload a photograph which is displayed on the iPhone's screen, but photographs on cards have been tried before with limited success. A particularly famous UK trial culminated with one trialist replacing their photograph with that of a gorilla, without raising an eyebrow when it was used.
    A lot of people may choose to give this new offering the finger... literally. Closely resembling other credit-card processing apps out there, the "Square" is somewhat different and arguably "more professional" because of the tiny hunk of plastic that lends the feel of hardware to the transaction process. Will it work? Will it prove successful? Will we even care a month from now?

    Those questions and more remain to be answered. But it's a good sign that one of the creative minds behind Twitter is looking to the iPhone as a creative outlet for new software or hardware ideas that could ultimately trickle down to consumers in a widespread fashion.

    Then again, so is everyone else.

    Image via The Register
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