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  • Patent Application Reveals How Apple May Use RFID Chips in iPhones


    According to a new patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, Apple has designs on how future-generation iPhones packing near-field communication technology will store and log important information about the device - a situation that could simplify and expedite the ways in which Apple can solve potential hardware or software problems.

    The patent application ("RFID Circuitry and Methods of Using the Same to Provide Information of Events Pertaining to an Electronic Device."), which was discovered by our friends at Apple Insider, suggests that Apple will utilize RFID circuitry in a fashion consistent with how an indestructible "black box" inside of an airplane is used to retain critical flight data even in the unfortunate outcome of an obliterating crash.

    A number of potential uses for the invention and the implementation of radio-frequency identification circuitry are outlined in the patent filing. They include everything from a direct application in paying highway tolls, managing inventory, badge entry, public transportation, and even wireless transactions (the most obvious and practical application for NFC technology in the era of mobile payments).

    So comprehensive would the RFID circuitry be that the iPhone could even wirelessly provide NFC data when the device isn't operational or powered off. "This enables the device to provide passive messages without incurring any substantial energy cost," the patent filing describes. "For example, if the device has been damaged, the RFID circuitry can provide a message indicating that it has been damaged even though the device is no longer functional."

    Source: Apple Insider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Patent Application Reveals How Apple May Use RFID Chips in iPhones started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. jose060789's Avatar
      jose060789 -
      This should be very interesting...
    1. STM127's Avatar
      STM127 -
      "So comprehensive would the RFID circuitry be that the iPhone could even wirelessly provide NFC data when the device isn't operational or powered off." From my understanding of RFID, this is a basic feature not comprehensive. There may be more to it, but RFID sends a radio signal when blasted. At least that's how all my RFID badges without batteries worked.
    1. 14u2nv's Avatar
      14u2nv -
      So, aside from all the plus sides, the negatives are?? I can see that a "black box" would be able to tell them about a jailbreak, I can see rfid as a tracking device (think tracking when you walk through a security gate/etc or even setting up walmart to track RFIDs around the store "for info on where customers go most often of course", yeah right. I don't like this tech, if you are too lazy to pull out a card to swipe it, or throw change in a tollbooth, you should be beat. "Hi, lets let them have more ways to "control" us. *end conspiracy rant.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by 14u2nv View Post
      So, aside from all the plus sides, the negatives are?? I can see that a "black box" would be able to tell them about a jailbreak, I can see rfid as a tracking device (think tracking when you walk through a security gate/etc or even setting up walmart to track RFIDs around the store "for info on where customers go most often of course", yeah right. I don't like this tech, if you are too lazy to pull out a card to swipe it, or throw change in a tollbooth, you should be beat. "Hi, lets let them have more ways to "control" us. *end conspiracy rant.
      All of the above would require the user to opt in, legally speaking, in the US anyway, unless of course there is a warrant.
    1. Lombardo Joe's Avatar
      Lombardo Joe -
      Quote Originally Posted by 14u2nv View Post
      So, aside from all the plus sides, the negatives are?? I can see that a "black box" would be able to tell them about a jailbreak, I can see rfid as a tracking device (think tracking when you walk through a security gate/etc or even setting up walmart to track RFIDs around the store "for info on where customers go most often of course", yeah right. I don't like this tech, if you are too lazy to pull out a card to swipe it, or throw change in a tollbooth, you should be beat. "Hi, lets let them have more ways to "control" us. *end conspiracy rant.
      I'm on board.
    1. ShredNasty's Avatar
      ShredNasty -
      Quote Originally Posted by 14u2nv View Post
      So, aside from all the plus sides, the negatives are?? I can see that a "black box" would be able to tell them about a jailbreak, I can see rfid as a tracking device (think tracking when you walk through a security gate/etc or even setting up walmart to track RFIDs around the store "for info on where customers go most often of course", yeah right. I don't like this tech, if you are too lazy to pull out a card to swipe it, or throw change in a tollbooth, you should be beat. "Hi, lets let them have more ways to "control" us. *end conspiracy rant.
      It isn't a matter of laziness. It's a matter of security. More and more, crooked cashiers and the like are copying card data from their customer's cards. Then, they flash that data to other cards or use them online. NFC transactions are vastly more secure. As for snooping on jailbreakers, I'm not a fan. However, once Infinifolders and QuickReply SMS are replaced by stock iOS functionality, I'll have no reason to jailbreak.