Apple Inching Closer to NFC, Patent Filing Shows
Although proponents of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology held their breath to no avail in hopes of the iPhone 5 delivering NFC capabilities, the disappointment will eventually fade away. That much is clear from a patent application filed by the iDevice maker.
On Thursday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published Apple's filing titled "Integrated Coupon Storage, Discovery, And Redemption System." The design presented in the filing refers to a system that allows users to both manage and use electronic coupons - a capability possibly requiring NFC. That comes by Apple's own admission.
"The electronic coupons may be redeemed in a number of ways, including scanning an image displayed on the mobile device, communicating with a wireless network, or through an integrated near field payment system offered by the location," Apple explains in the patent.
Filed one year before Passbook was formally unveiled with iOS 6 last summer, it's clear that Passbook has been a huge success for Apple, with everyone from Starbucks to Major League Baseball getting on board. According to no shortage of industry analysts, NFC is the next logical step for the evolution of this increasingly much-have platform.