Why an RFID-enabled iPhone?

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Multiple reports have come in that Apple is researching RFID integration into the iPhone, but some may still be wondering what such functionality would bring to the table for consumers.

    Firstly, we should note that RFID is a catch-all term that describes a vast array of technologies and standards. RFID tags can be relatively large and battery-powered, such as ones used in toll collection, to small "passive" tags that can be embedded into credit cards, drivers licenses (called "Enhanced Drivers Licenses" in the U.S.), passports, or stuck onto a piece of merchandise.

    Currently, cell-phone usage of RFID technology is centered around Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC has three main usage scenarios: a phone acting as an RFID tag; a phone acting as an RFID reader; and peer to peer communication (P2P).

    In RFID tag mode, a phone could be used as a payment device (like a credit card), an identity card, or act as a car key. In RFID reader mode the phone would be able to interact with tags in its vicinity. This article and video demonstrates how an iPhone with RFID could use physical objects to control media playback. And in P2P mode, Bluetooth pairing can be streamlined.

    These are just a few ways that RFID could be used in an iPhone. When or if it becomes a reality isn't clear, but hopefully now you have a better idea of what the potential is for Apple's research in this area.

    Article Link: Why an RFID-enabled iPhone?
  2. 2000m macrumors member


    Jul 17, 2008
  3. stagi macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2006
    I think it would be cool to use your phone for payments and some of these other functions. Excited to see what the next version will bring.
  4. MacFly123 macrumors 68020

    Dec 25, 2006
    Ya! So much for a chip in your body, they will have them in your mobile device which you will always have! :eek:

    This could have lots of cool uses though, and I was hoping a while ago that the iPhone would debut this technology on a large platform.
  5. coolbreeze macrumors 68000

    Jan 20, 2003
    This. @ any store, @ a Coke machine, @ the movies.

    Just hold your iPhone up to the sensor. Possibly enter a PIN to validate.


    I reach for my phone at the same time I reach for my wallet. Never leave home without it.

    Perfect payment tool.
  6. Blinkwing macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2009
    New Zealand
    Hong Kong, Japan & a few other countries have been using technology like this for a while. Hopefully it'll start being mainstream in Western countries soon.

    Hong Kong uses a SMART type card for everything, transport, vending machines, etc etc.

    Japan uses their mobile phones, AFAIK :p
  7. ctucci macrumors regular

    Dec 16, 2008
    If it's a reader, I can see this working in concert with the new Easy Pay apple point of sale.

    I could walk through a store, hit "read" and conduct inventory instantly.

  8. ob81 macrumors 65816


    Jun 11, 2007
    Virginia Beach
    Yeah, it is so wide spread in Japan that you can use it at little corner shops these days. Great technology.
  9. BuddyTronic macrumors 6502

    Jul 11, 2008
    Why RFID?

    Vending Machines

    Gas Pumps

    Door locks and passage locks

    Home security system thing - let's you know who came to your door etc.

    Subway Train Token

    Movie Tickets

    Digital "tickets" for anything.

    Museum audio program guide thingies.

    Micro Payment systems

    Demographic plotting of people passing a turnstile

    I hope people try to see beyond the "evil Gubment" spy stuff.
  10. macduke macrumors 604


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    LOL @ Chuck Norris kicking an oncoming car in the face. Classic.

    Like I mentioned in the first post on this possibility earlier today, I hope they implement this in a way that I can find things. Like tagging my keys or books. I'm always losing crap.
  11. spillproof macrumors 68020


    Jun 4, 2009
    I watched a discovery channel show a few years ago where I think Spain was selling phones with a chip in them to act as a bus pass.

    I would really like to see something like the OP become main stream. I like the MasterCard® PayPass™ idea but you still need to take out a card and deal with your wallet; but if it was as easy as waving a phone and a pin code, I'd love it.
  12. robinp macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2008
    My old flatmate was invited by O2 to take part in a trial of this technology in a nokia phone here in london. The phone had the ability to be an Oyster card (pay for public transport), an instant pay barclay card and to read a series of tags which he was given. Not sure what they were really useful for to be honest, but I guess you could set it up to change settings depending on location.

    I think the trial was a success, so it doesn't surprise me that this would be incorporated in the iPhone.
  13. Rychiar macrumors 6502


    May 16, 2006
    Waterbury, CT
    i had that chuck action figure once upon a time! LOL
  14. jmadlena Guest

    So you believe that by Apple putting an RFID tag reader in the next generation iPhone it will help enable the US government to spy on you?

    According to those scary sites you posted, they're already doing this with ease. Basically, if the US government wants to spy on you, it probably can. The only way to stop it would be to move out to the middle of nowhere: http://www.theonion.com/content/video/google_opt_out_feature_lets_users
  15. iphones4evry1 macrumors 65816


    Nov 26, 2008
    California, USA
    I could see it being beneficial in some cases, such as being used as an access key to identify you or to identify you as the buyer of E-tickets (but at the same time, it would allow retailers to identify you when you walk in the door; which would allow advertising conglomerates to collect even more data on you. Wait until individual aisles have readers - "Dave walked down the toothpaste aisle at Target on Saturday, November 3, at 5:13pm. On the 4th, he walked down the condom aisle at CVS at 9:59pm." :eek: :eek: :eek:

    (Seriously Folks, this RFID thing Apple is plotting might not be the best idea.
    Apple will probably try to charge retailers and advertising companies, such as
    Doubleclick (which will become like the credit bureaus of consumer data), but
    it will make George Orwell's 1984 one step closer)
  16. retroneo macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2005
    PayPass is an implementation of NFC. You don't need to take it out of your wallet.

    In fact I have four NFC cards in my wallet and the all work without taking them out. The reader seems to know which one to use (transport, car sharing, door access and paypass)

    NFC is ISO 14443
  17. eastercat macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    While I'm worried about the government, I'm more concerned about the corporations who would use my information.
    Considering how corporations screwed up when it came to administering home loans, you think they'll do any better with your private information?

    Talk about a bad idea.
  18. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Nov 22, 2007
    Ask Apple
    I'm waiting for the Mark of the Beast = RFID comments to begin.

    Serious, there are several segments of the population out there that have objections to this type of technology. I don't know if Apple cares though.
  19. Frosties macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    Say no to rfid! We already use phones to pay for tickets on parking spaces, trains, buses and so on. There is no need to add more identity to these transactions. It is already in use and works just fine without rfid.
  20. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    So the fact that AT&T can currently know everything about you from miles away is ok, but if they add a chip that works for 30 or 40 feet...that's a problem?
  21. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2007
    Bristol, England
    You already use cards, which are trackable, stop whining, give us the option for ultra convenience, They'll still let you pay in cash if you choose!
  22. Frosties macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    From 1 party to anyone and everyone, your neighbor, elevator, cash register. Anyone with ability to scan rfid know you. That is like shouting out who, what you are all the time 24/7. That is just information pollution.
  23. pesc macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2006
    Automatically disable lost phone

    You have a RFID tag in some item you wear. Like your belt.

    You set the phone to automatically disable if it can't see your tag. If you lose it or it is stolen, it will automatically lock up. And unlock when you come back. Seamlessly.
  24. The Phazer macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2007
    London, UK
    It'd be great news to have an Oyster card in the next iPhone...


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