NFC and iOS, Will it become a reality in 2012?
Lately there has been a lot of rumor on the web about the iPhone 5 and iPad 3. One thing that most people and technical loggers seem to agree on, along with more internal memory for running of programs and a faster processor is a thinner design and new innovative features such as the use of NFC (Near Field Communication). Yes still speculation until the time the next iPhone will be announced, which will probably be, at the latest, in June at Apple’s WWDC (World Wide Developer Conference), but worth talking about in advance.
As a quick example of NFC, think of something many thousands of us use daily, the London Undergrounds successful use of the Oyster card and beyond that card payments , such as Barclaycard‘s Contactless Payment systems.
For many years in the Nordic Regions, carriers have worked with retailers to have some automatic vending machines work with the use of SMS (Simple Message Services). In this scenario the customer could text a defined message to a SMS short code, which would be specific to that vending machine and have something within the machine dispensed, and the payment taken from their phone bill. A basic form of electronic payment or an e-wallet, but still having quite a few distinct steps within the process and relying on older technology.
NFC could also be used to communicate with RFID tags, which some manufacturers use on high value goods, within warehouses and have also been used for interactive advertising. Obviously that could take us further down the route of ‘Minority Report’ and could easily become more intrusive within our “Mobile Lifestyle“, lets hope if that happens there will be a setting to turn off that feature.
Electronic keys could also be possible, with your car realising that now you are sitting within the vehicle with your iPhone, specifically set to that vehicle. The ignition could then be enabled to start. Thinking ahead it would be great for that iPhone to then place itself in a mode that can only be used in a hands-free basis… Touché to you guys that still iPhone whilst you drive! We have all seen you…Shame on you.
Lately the iPhone and iPad has become part of our daily routine. A meaningful and helpful part of our hectic lifestyle, bringing multiple feature together into one device. One device that is capable of voice communications, electronic communications, entertainment and possibly a true M-Wallet accessible by specific applications and outlets. In turn this feature makes security of the actual device itself more necessary.
We have PIN cods on our credit and debit cards, so should you already on your iPhone. A future iPhone with similar financial capabilities would also need the user to be responsible… Get used to setting your device passcode with something more secure! But I also think that with Apple’s track record on innovative services/features and the hardware features that the iPhone 4S already has, expect something special. I would like to speculate that sometime in the future the iPhone 5 or iPad 3 and beyond will also be able to use the user facing camera and facial recognition to give you another level of security. Apple have had facial recognition capability in products such as iPhoto for a while, but acquired Swedish company Polar Rose in September 2010, who’s expertise was facial recognition and it is expected by many that those guys could fill that gap.
Whatever happens, the next device is sure to take its ‘magic factor‘ to another level with new features and cement it deeper into our Daily Mobile Life.
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