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  • Apple Readying RFID Enabled iPhone?


    Einar Rosenberg, Chief Technology Officer of Narian Technologies, is being widely quoted today about speculation that Apple is currently tinkering with a radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip for possible inclusion in the next generation iPhone.

    Had to share this news. A highly reliable source has informed me that Apple has built some prototypes of the next gen iPhone with an RFID reader built in and they have seen it in action. So its not full NFC but its a start for real service discovery and I'm told that the reaction was very positive that we can expect this in the next gen iPhone.
    But of the many things Apple is likely working on these days (hopefully everything from a tablet to a physical keyboard for gamers) how high of a priority should an RFID chip be? To some, its the highest priority imaginable. To others, its a gateway to functionality that, while cool, just doesn't seem to fit with the iPhone.

    From MacRumors:

    RFID is a catch-all term that describes a vast array of technologies and standards. RFID tags can be relatively large and battery-powered, such as ones used in toll collection, to small "passive" tags that can be embedded into credit cards, drivers licenses (called "Enhanced Drivers Licenses" in the U.S.), passports, or stuck onto a piece of merchandise.
    Apple's chief impetus for seeking an RFID enabled iPhone (and that's assuming they really are) is almost certainly the potential that would be born of turning the device into a convenient payment tool - a situation that essentially helps the iPhone further reduce the patience of on-the-go consumers who can already barely stand the wait for their soft drink to be dispensed after dropping a few quarters into the vending machine.

    Sounds good to me.

    In some parts of the world, but primarily in Asia, technology has been used in this fashion for quite some time. So, in this regard, Apple isn't ahead of the curve, it's behind. So if successfully implemented, RFID capabilities could make the iPhone far more attractive to the masses than it already is.

    Currently, cell-phone usage of RFID technology is centered around Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC has three main usage scenarios: a phone acting as an RFID tag; a phone acting as an RFID reader; and peer to peer communication (P2P).
    Apple's potential foray into this arena could conceivable change the landscape of mobile technology in the US. And that's exactly why I buy into the rumors that Apple wants and will probably roll out an RFID-enabled next generation iPhone in 2010.

    iPhone RFID: object-based media from timo on Vimeo.




    Image via Barcodesinc.com
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Readying RFID Enabled iPhone? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 25 Comments
    1. metaserph's Avatar
      metaserph -
      About 5 years ago they had a guy pointing his phone to a vending machine and paying for a Coke in Japan, just demonstrating the concept. As with anything technological, there is a market segment who will benefit from this and there are many who won't. Apple made a name for themselves by trying to be cutting edge. Look at what happened with USB, created by Intel and lagging dreadfully in the 'ndoze world until the iMac back in the day. For me, no blood, no foul.
    1. Kukag's Avatar
      Kukag -
      Agree a lot of people have lots of valid points here... The cutting edge yes we all love cutting edge and true japan has been doing this for years but I think a smarter idea would to release this application along with the development kit... Now we would have a whole new array of applications for everyone + it would challenge developers and open up a whole new ball game. This would allow for things such as the price scan on the t-mobile g1, a FM/AM Radio?, Small things like this and the thing - p.s about not carrying a credit anymore? Well thats just dumb just cause you can use your iphone with another iphone to pay doesnt mean stores are gonna have iphones setup for you to scan. Maybe in the apple store but we'll see about that. Again really cool idea I just don't see why apple is focusing on something probably a vast majority of their audience wont use when they don't even have all the basic functions down.

      I dunno what do you people think???
      Kukag
    1. nighthawk283's Avatar
      nighthawk283 -
      Its sounds good thing
    1. metaserph's Avatar
      metaserph -
      Just to clarify, just because Apple would be introducing this technology to the next gen iPhone does NOT mean the authorizing device needs to be another iPhone. As I mentioned, a "vending machine" accepted the RF signal, not another phone. And, again, what interest is there for a "technology company" to share the framekit for a service they are implementing? This is not open source service as of yet. The competitive advantage makes the device more desireable and marketable. Same thing with the iTunes service. Apple is a "for profit" corporation, they have a business agenda and duty to it's investors. Just like any other co. Open Source comes from developers, not manufacturers. Anyways...
    1. bbillh77's Avatar
      bbillh77 -
      I will try it the credit card company will insure the safety but some one will figure out how to steal it. ppl get scammed every day that shouldn't stop technology just make it better