aWatch, iPhone and NFC

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Julien, Nov 4, 2014.

  1. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #1
    What happens if while wearing your aWatch you try to pay with your iPhone? Will the NFC reader 'see' both devices and then you pick which one by confirmation. Or does NFC just lock onto the first device it sees and ignore any other that come into range until the transaction is complete?

    At this point I doubt there have been any instances of people carrying and holding multiple NFC devices next to a reader but with the aWatch and iPhone they can both be in proximity to the reader at the same time.
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    You need to authorize the payment with your fingerprint so the one that you put your finger on will probably be the one that processes it - I'm guessing.
     
  3. Julien, Nov 4, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2014

    Julien thread starter macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #3
    The aWatch doesn't have a finger print reader. It is Apple Pay activated when you put it on (PIN or iPhone's finger print reader) and remains Apple Pay ready unless it loses skin contact (take aWatch off).

    So the NFC reader will 'see' both devices at once and allow you to choose which one to use?

    EDIT: May have found the answer. It appears that unlike the iPhone which wakes up next to NFC reader, the aWatch be activated. You first need to double press the Contacts button in order for it to go into NFC payment mode. At least this looks like what Apple is saying.

    Still not sure if the NFC reader can handle multiple devices in range at the same time.

     
  4. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    Jun 9, 2007
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    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    #4
    As I understand it...

    If there are multiple responders to the NFC reader, it will pick the first one and use it.

    (If more than one device responds at the exact same time, anti-collision code makes them back off a random period, so just one will end up as "first".)

    Of course, they'd have to be really close for this to happen. Like within a few inches. It's not like with RFID tags which can be read much further away.
     
  5. Julien thread starter macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #5
    But this could/will be a problem with the iPhone held in your aWatch hand. Both could be in proximity of the NFC reader at the same time. This could cause checkout delays if it activates the 'anti-collision code' so we would need to train ourselves to always use the iPhone in the other (non aWatch) hand.

    Also not sure if the aWatch's Apple Pay will be a 'clone' of your iPhone's Apple Pay or if you can set them up differently. If you can you may want to have one CC as a default on the iPhone and another CC default on the aWatch. This could cause a little confusion if the NFC locks onto the aWatch when you wanted it to lock on the iPhone.

    These are probably not that big of deal but remember the scale at which Apple operates. There will likely be many millions of people using Apple Pay with an iPhone and an aWatch on in a year from now.
     
  6. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    First university coding class = 46 years ago
    #6
    The back-off period is milliseconds at most, so it would not be noticed.

    As for distance, the wrist watch could be more than a half foot away if you used the same hand to touch the top of the phone to the reader. It probably would not even notice the watch at that distance. (NFC is done by inductor coil, which for a POS terminal, becomes virtually unreadable past 4")

    That's a good question, yet to be answered.

    Reading the wrong payment source is something that people with multiple contactless cards have already had to put up with. For example, tapping their entire leather wallet meant that a random card inside would get charged. So people had to learn to pull out the one they wanted to use.
     
  7. JayLenochiniMac macrumors G5

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2007
    Location:
    New Sanfrakota
    #7
    NFC range is rather limiting and you have to be relatively close (2 inches or so) from the NFC reader and it's unlikely that both will come into contact with it, even if you hold the iPhone there with the same hand that you wear the :apple:Watch.
     

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