Apple Patent Outlines NFC Enabled Shopping Application
An Apple patent published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office outlines an app that assists shoppers by providing item information for scanned items.
Numerous third-party applications already exist enabling customers to scan items and look up a litany of product information and Apple’s app outlined in patent No. 8,239,276
isn’t much different, and actually mentions aggregating information from other shopping list apps and sources.
The app allows shoppers to scan products and create a digital shopping list complete with information like price, consumer ratings, and product quality. The app would allow shoppers to split up their shopping lists based which retailers are selling the items they’re interested in and which retailers have the best deals.
While the app would utilize already available barcode scanning technology as well as NFC technology that would identify products via embedded RFID tags. The inclusion of NFC technology in this latest only adds more fuel to the Apple iWallet and NFC payment system rumors.
Whether or not Apple includes NFC tech into its next iPhone is still only speculation, but the time for NFC is quickly approaching. The largest problem Apple and other potential proponents of NFC payment technology face is convincing shoppers there is a distinct advantage to using NFC over cash and credit/debit cards. Right now NFC tech is more cumbersome than it is convenient.