by Joe White
August 17, 2010
Remember the other day, when we told you Apple had employed an expert in near field communications following the release of a whole load of NFC-related patents? Well, according to TechCrunch, Apple has already started testing proximity aware iPhones. This new form of technology could bring fanboys contact-less payments, turning the iPhone into a supercool wallet. Additionally, file transfer (between iPhone, MacBook, and Apple TV) is another feature being considered by Steve and his band of merry men. According to TechCrunch's sources, Apple is testing prototype iPhones cleverly equipped with bits and pieces from NXP Semiconductor. Indeed, it seems as if the enticing NFC-related patents (listed below) are more reality than myth. You can check out the full list of NFC-related Apple patents below, courtesy of Near Field Communication World.
An NFC-based mobile payments service that lets consumers make payments to merchants and other consumers via a credit or debit card, directly from their bank account or using credit stored in their iTunes account. The ‘iPay, iBuy and iCoupons’ patents, describing a comprehensive mobile payments, mobile commerce and mobile marketing business based around an NFC-enabled iPhone. Products+, an NFC-based product marketing and promotions application. An airline ticketing and boarding pass application that describes an unmanned, automated airport ticketing and baggage counter kiosk and introduces the concept of an automated security checking process where users of the iTravel app could process themselves through the security clearance system and check themselves in at the boarding gate. The Grab & Go patent, designed to make it easy for customers to transfer files between devices such as the Mac, iPhone and Apple TV. An NFC-enabled iPod, games controller, TV and iPhone. An NFC-based concert, entertainment and sports venue ticketing application that includes exclusive bonus features for users of Apple’s service.Many are speculating that one or more of the above features could very well find its way into the iPhone 5. Just imagine heading to a restaurant, and paying for the bill with your iWallet. If that doesn't get you a second date, then nothing will.