Apple Exploring Methods for Gifting Media Content Through NFC

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A newly-published patent application from Apple (via AppleInsider) describes a method to allow users to "gift" media content purchased via iTunes and from their own libraries to other users through near-field communication (NFC), suggesting that the technology may eventually find a way onto iOS devices in the near future. The patent, which was filed back in March of this year and stretches over a lengthy 63 pages, describes a system whereby:

    The filing shows a picture of a generic iPhone with an additional chip (labeled 50 in the above diagram) on both the front and rear of the device which may potentially allow users to exchange content through NFC. The patent describes two methods of "gifting" - either by purchasing the media directly from the iTunes Store and sending to another user's Apple ID or by sending a copy of already-owned media to another device, which is currently unavailable on all iOS devices.


    The patented method involves digital media protection keys, such as a DRM key, that allows the "gifted" file to be only played on one device in accordance with copyright regulations. This is similar to the existing method of gifting through the iTunes Store, however the transfer would be over NFC, not the Internet or 3G. The NFC chip may allow for data transfer speeds of up to 560 Mbps, according to the filing, and may be compatible with the new TransferJet protocol, first developed by Sony, which allows for faster transfer speeds between devices. The new chips will have a range of 2-4 cm, so users do not physically have to touch phones.

    Apple has so far shied away from NFC technology, instead stepping gingerly into scannable digital tickets, coupons, gift cards and loyalty cards with its own Passbook service introduced with iOS 6. This patent suggests, however, that the company is seriously considering NFC as a feature in upcoming devices. NFC is already available on several other devices, including those running Android, BlackBerry OS and Windows Mobile, and it allows users to achieve much more with their smartphones, including paying for goods and services (examples include Visa's payWave and Mastercard's PayPass) and using their smartphones on public transport, which is already being tested in several U.S. cities, including New York and Los Angeles.

    Article Link: Apple Exploring Methods for Gifting Media Content Through NFC
  2. iMerik macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2011
    Upper Midwest
    I love sharing things with friends wrapped in DRM. :rolleyes:
  3. street.cory macrumors 6502


    Oct 13, 2009
  4. gadgetguy03 macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2012
    Didn't Tim Cook (or whoever was doing the keynote) say that AirDrop was better because you didn't have to tap phones? It makes more sense for this to be via AirDrop than NFC.
  5. VanillaCracker macrumors 68020


    Apr 11, 2013
    Washington D.C.
    Boy do I miss iOS6' design. The team probably found it too difficult to try to imitate iOS7 that they just wrote the patent up as if it were for iOS6 :D


    NFC allows mobile payments though. Zing

    Tap to pay.

    I've actually been using my phone as a way to open my garage door for over a year now. GSII
  6. JayJayAbels macrumors 6502


    May 15, 2012
    NFC... Airdrop... it doesn't matter. This is a whole new industry for Apple.

    If it can pull even 1/10th of what iTunes does over time it would be a roaring success.

    Whatever media is being sold would have to be sold for less than what it sold for originally on iTunes though. Creating a secondary market within the same space.

    Say... 90cents per song. Something like that.
  7. gadgetguy03 macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2012
    I'd rather just slide my card or use cash. How often do people make payments with NFC? (that's not a zing, it's a legitimate question since I don't know how much use someone with NFC gets out of it.)
  8. Ventilatedbrain macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2012
    To the technically capable , sorry !

    Isn't NFC just a medium to establish a connection ? I mean it sends data through packets by using wifi or Bluetooth right ?

    I have NFC on my nexus and only used it a few times .. Not revolutionary IMO..I think if they implement airdrop in most apps it'll be better
  9. VanillaCracker macrumors 68020


    Apr 11, 2013
    Washington D.C.
    I use my card for 99.9% of my purchases. Don't use cash for anything at all really unless I need to. If I could use NFC for purcahses then I wouldn't even really need to bring my wallet when I went out...the only reason would be my license. So still a snag
  10. BJMRamage macrumors 68020


    Oct 2, 2007

    Looks like they have the iOS5 YouTube app and the iPod app on there too.
    guessing this was crafted a while back
  11. JAT macrumors 603

    Dec 31, 2001
    Mpls, MN
    Wouldn't they have to physically include NFC in an iPhone before we should care?
  12. macnisse macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    NFC will linger along, surely apple will look into it. Perhaps as a cross device platform independent option?
  13. iLilana macrumors 6502a


    May 5, 2003
    Alberta, Canada
    I see this ending badly

    I know people will think i'm crazy but for some reason i see this becoming a security hole the size of the grand canyon.
  14. sik08amg macrumors regular


    Feb 19, 2012
    Tampa, FL
  15. Porco macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2005
    The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything, of course :p

    Unlike this patent, which all seems a bit silly really if it's just for sharing data… I don't see why Wifi and/or Bluetooth (not to mention email?!) aren't sufficient.

    Less sarcastically, from the patent application linked in the story:

  16. randomdude macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2011
    I don't think it's new, just recently been filed, but made quite a while ago. Look at the iPhone, it doesn't look like an iPhone 5 (headphone jack on top + not lightning connector) or even a 4S. Looks more like 3GS. Also, the OS, still has the old built-in YouTube App, iPod App.

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