ATMs get a futuristic touch

NCR today unveiled the automatic teller machines (ATM) of the future that will be operated by mobile phones and PDAs.

Nicknamed "The Red Egg" the ATM looks like a large, red football on a pedestal, has no buttons or screen and stands a metre high.

Users of the ATM enter their Personal Identification Number (PIN) on their mobile phone and then enter in the details of their transaction.

They can later walk up to the ATM to collect their cash.

Using Bluetooth technology and developed by the NCR Advanced Concept Lab in Scotland, the developers believe it is a world first.

"You do everything before you get to the ATM, so you don't have to stand in a queue; it's speeding up the whole transaction time," said NCR's marketing manager Tim Wiggins.

He said it would be several years before "The Red Eggs" are actually on street corners, but banks are likely to implement the Bluetooth technology on their existing ATMs within a year.