It seems that Apple’s latest big feature in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, beyond the larger screens and iOS 8 updates, will be moving beyond just the checkout lane.
NFC in the iPhone 6 was rumored for quite some time before the larger iPhone’s release recently. People were envisioning quick pay, solid and safe identification means, fast file transfers; you name it and the rumors surrounding the chip that was said to be inside the device were there. And, upon the release of the iPhone 6, we really got to see what it was going to be like.
Apple Pay is what they call it and while it is hardly the newest thing on the block as NFC has been present for quite some time in Android devices and credit cards, for a few examples, Apple seems to be the catalyst to really bring the not-so-new technology to the forefront.
It seems that the quest to include your phone in your life even more than what it already is has extended to things such as your keys, identification keycards, and even train and bus tickets. Apple is currently in talks with HID Global, manufacturers of hands-free keycards for buildings ranging from businesses and apartment complexes along with a host of other RFID enabled technologies, and Cubic, a company that specializes in the electronic transit payment and fare systems that are becoming more and more common.
The hopes of Apple in this market is to extend the personal payment and identification information stored through Apple Pay (which works through storing already registered credit and debit cards) to these already existing RFID and NFC methods. So, ideally, you could simply use your registered iPhone 6 to gain access to your work or apartment building, or swipe your phone to pay for the subway.
With Apply Pay already starting to spread, Whole Foods already accepts the payment system and has even been adding a small sticker to the NFC reader so that those with it available know they can use it, it seems that with many things Apple is going to bring the reality of personal NFC devices to a more common use. It’s already expected to see NFC in mobiles to replace key fobs for our keyless cars within the next few years.
The power of the app and the mobile is simply growing and growing.
As stated above, NFC use isn’t exactly new. And let’s be honest here; Apple isn’t exactly known for their innovation in newer technologies. Apart from paving the way for the, unfortunately, fading iPod, much of their success has been improving and spreading already existing technology with their own unique Apple flair. This is not a bad thing, though, and likely what I appreciate Apple the most for. The thought of using my phone (and I use the term “phone” loosely these days) to control so many basic functions of life is highly appealing, though the repercussions of losing such an important device, or having that important data literally signaling itself to the world, is slightly disconcerting.