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Old Aug 15, 2010, 04:41 PM   #1
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Apple Hires Near Field Communications Expert






NearFieldCommunications World reports that Apple has recently hired Benjamin Vigier as its new product manager for mobile commerce. Vigier is described as an expert in near field communications (NFC) having been in the field since 2004.
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Most recently Vigier was product manager for mobile wallet, payment and NFC at US mobile payments specialist mFoundry. There he conceived and managed both the PayPal Mobile service and Starbucks' barcode-based mobile payments service and was also responsible for the development of mobile wallet applications for two top US mobile network operators and an NFC wallet application for a top three US bank.
Near Field Communications is short range wireless communication technology (~4 inches) that is used in mobile phones for a variety of applications including mobile ticketing, mobile payments, interactive advertising and more. The same site had previously reported that Apple has had prototype devices already outfitted with the required radio-frequency identification (RFID) chips.

Apple has published a number of patent applications related to NFC technology. One even detailed the use of an iPhone as an electronic wallet and payment system that could be used to pay a bill at a restaurant. A host of other patent applications from Apple has demonstrated other possibilities including "Grab & go" file transfers between an iPhone and a Mac or PC. According to LinkedIn, Vigier joined Apple in July 2010.

Article Link: Apple Hires Near Field Communications Expert
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 04:43 PM   #2
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Where's the "Apple Hires Near Field Communications Security Expert" concurrent headline? Oh, that's right. Why would anyone be concerned about security with the mobile payment concept?
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 04:44 PM   #3
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Please let it be grab & go, that would be amazing. Or maybe for wireless sync between Mac/iDevice?
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 04:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by miles01110 View Post
Where's the "Apple Hires Near Field Communications Security Expert" concurrent headline? Oh, that's right. Why would anyone be concerned about security with the mobile payment concept?
Yeah, for Christ sake don't leave your prototype iPhone 5 in a bar, someone could drain your bank account and then sell it to gizmodo
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 04:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by miles01110 View Post
Where's the "Apple Hires Near Field Communications Security Expert" concurrent headline? Oh, that's right. Why would anyone be concerned about security with the mobile payment concept?
Vigier's specialities in order: Mobile software, secure transactions, NFC, SIM cards, memory cards, J2ME / JME, etc. etc. etc.
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 04:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dooger View Post
Yeah, for Christ sake don't leave your prototype iPhone 5 in a bar, someone could drain your bank account and then sell it to gizmodo
Too funny!! I assume they would also need to know your PIN #, though.
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 05:00 PM   #7
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This is likely the next big feature in the iPhone line. Being able to sit at a restaurant, pull out your phone and see the menu (and order) will be the next "revolution" brought to you by smart phones and Apple is in the best position to be the one to popularize it.
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 05:02 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by miles01110 View Post
Where's the "Apple Hires Near Field Communications Security Expert" concurrent headline? Oh, that's right. Why would anyone be concerned about security with the mobile payment concept?
Please note #3 under "Past".
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 05:09 PM   #9
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Seeing as Nokia is going to have NFC in all 2011 Nokia smartphones - i'd put money on the iPhone 5 definitely having it. Would be interesting if the upcoming Touch had it.
1 question - could NFC give a decent enough bandwidth, battery life etc to do wireless syncing? or would it suck in comparison to 802.11n?
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 05:21 PM   #10
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Japanese cell phones have had "mobile wallet" technology for at least the past 5 years, and we haven't heard of widespread security problems with it here. Not saying that it's not a potential security threat, but I also doubt that it's nearly as risky as many naysayers make it out to be.
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 05:25 PM   #11
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Looks like between this hiring and those patents that apple clearly have some ideas in this area. Would be interesting to see so e sort of cash card system on the iPhone or a contact less sync to get move data between devices.
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 05:32 PM   #12
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I just hope to hell they (apple, google, hp, Nokia, ect...) standardize on one system.
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 05:47 PM   #13
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Wallet, check. Now they just need to replace my car keys and we'll be good to go. And I don't want some silly hacked on system. I want the car manufacturers to build it in! Or use some standard. Like maybe even this NFC crap for ignition.

Better not lose your phone though!
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 06:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by ipedro View Post
This is likely the next big feature in the iPhone line. Being able to sit at a restaurant, pull out your phone and see the menu (and order) will be the next "revolution" brought to you by smart phones and Apple is in the best position to be the one to popularize it.
I certainly hope not. We don't need to make playing with iPhones at the table an acceptable behavior.
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 06:11 PM   #15
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Yeah, for Christ sake don't leave your prototype iPhone 5 in a bar, someone could drain your bank account and then sell it to gizmodo
Or worst, if you think these fake ATMs and fake WiFi HotSpots are bad, just a matter of time where someone manages to set up an antenna in a confined public area such as an elevator car, subway hallway or security checkpoint line.

Then, some malicious hardware connected to that antenna will ping every transaction card / device around. It can log the compromised transactor numbers to nail as many bank accounts as possible.

There are lots of security compromise scenarios like this written up in a few public journals not to mention talks at DefCon. I forget who said it at a DefCon but it went like "When all money has no mass, the masses will have no money."
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 06:41 PM   #16
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Well it is more acceptable than playing with other things at a table (most families)

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I certainly hope not. We don't need to make playing with iPhones at the table an acceptable behavior.
Frankly the iPhone and its net access is far more inyeresting than most people you will meet at a bar or table. Sad but true.


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Old Aug 15, 2010, 06:43 PM   #17
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I want "grab and go" and the ability to wave my phone over a paypass like device to pay at stores and use it as a bus, subway, and taxi pass.
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 06:45 PM   #18
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Re: grab and go.

You can just imagine the news headlines:

"Teenage gang brandish knives at local 7-11, grab cigarette cartons, and run out.

Unfortunately for the hoodlums, their iPhones paid for the goods automatically as they left, which also logged all their ids."
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 07:07 PM   #19
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Such problems are easily dealt with.

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Originally Posted by CFreymarc View Post
Or worst, if you think these fake ATMs and fake WiFi HotSpots are bad, just a matter of time where someone manages to set up an antenna in a confined public area such as an elevator car, subway hallway or security checkpoint line.
Which will only work if the chip is turned on and enabled. While a real issue this is very easy to defend against.
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Then, some malicious hardware connected to that antenna will ping every transaction card / device around. It can log the compromised transactor numbers to nail as many bank accounts as possible.
Yep, but what is the big deal relative to other systems. We have already have had fake ATM machines and credit card breaches (many vectors) are not unheard of. The hysteria over NFC is largely overblown, certainly bad things can happen but that is the case today with other systems.
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There are lots of security compromise scenarios like this written up in a few public journals not to mention talks at DefCon. I forget who said it at a DefCon but it went like "When all money has no mass, the masses will have no money."
Cute but meaningless. I'm for one look upon as being a bit backwards as I only have one Credit card with a zero balance and one debit card. I pay for just about everthing with cash and cringe when i see credit cards whipped out at groceries or gas stations.

Given all of that I still see a future where cash is not often seen. It is the inevitable result of computerization of everything.

For many this will be a very bad thing. It won't be because of theft though. Instead many will not fathom the abstract nature of spending money. Just as today we have people who can't grasp the nature of credit cards. In a sense the speaker at DefCon was right but his reasoning completely wrong. Many people simply don't have the mental capacity to handle a cashless society. So yeah a system where money has no mass will lead to people with no cash, the primary cause will be stupidity not theft.

Given all of the above I can see such a system taking off fairly quickly. If Apple where to buy a major bank things might happen faster than expected.


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Old Aug 15, 2010, 07:50 PM   #20
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never mind.
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 08:05 PM   #21
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Given the antenna problem, I would think Apple really needs near field communications!

Okay... only joking! I know... I'm just stirring up the trolls!

Really... this is cool. Also, like someone else already said, it's been done in places like Japan for a while so I'm sure there are plenty of security measures in this to keep it sane. I imagine no more risky than carrying your ATM card.

Would be nice if you could keep access to things like drivers license, passport, etc... as well as substitute for things like EZ-Pass. I'd love to be able to leave my wallet at home and only carry one thing.
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 08:10 PM   #22
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Where's the "Apple Hires Near Field Communications Security Expert" concurrent headline? Oh, that's right. Why would anyone be concerned about security with the mobile payment concept?
The Japanese figured out the secure portion of NFC contactless payment five years ago. Properly implemented NFC transactions shouldn't be less secure than handing over your credit card to a retail cashier or running it through a POS terminal.

Frankly, I'd rather swipe an "Osaifu Keitai" over an NFC sensor versus handing my credit card to some restaurant waiter who disappears with it for ten minutes.

The people who are hyper-paranoid over NFC contactless transactions clearly have not traveled to another continent over the past five years. The world is blowing by the United States of America whether it be retail transaction payments, cellular service, or broadband Internet service.
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 08:41 PM   #23
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If I can buy something half way around the world using my phone, why not 4 inches away?
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 09:54 PM   #24
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I know lots of people look at this and say what about the security risk.
What about security improvements it could bring about?

Any tech can work both ways. So banking apps that now require you to type details that anyone could see then just go the banks website and raid your accounts. With this they could talk to a RFID chip on your person, if your phones not in range of the chip then they could snap a photo of the person who's trying to log in then email to bank.

So your phone gets lifted then it can even help catch the person trying to steal from you.

It's all about layers and options having NFC attached to a small computer with a hi res screen, touch controls, a private internet connection and storage for all transaction details. Gives the system providers a very nice range of options of the security vs convenience they want.
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Old Aug 15, 2010, 10:22 PM   #25
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The Japanese have incorporated near field communication chips for payment for more than 5 years. In Hong Kong, people have been using "Octopus card" for payment in shops and public transport since 1997. If the next iPhone supports this technology, will Apple get license from these providers so that the chips in iPhone will be compatible with the existing systems that are being used by millions of people?
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