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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