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