The next gen iPhone could well help you checkout at retail stores, borrow books from a library or pay at a toll-booth.
If rumors are to be believed, Apple could be deploying RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) sensors in future iPhones.
We had reported a few months back about Apple having filed patents for incorporating RFID sensors on the iPhones. According to Einar Rosenberg, the CTO at Narian Technologies, a company focusing on mobile commerce and technology, Apple has now built prototypes of iPhones with RFID readers in them. In a message posted on the Near Field Communications Group on LinkedIn, Rosenberg writes:
"It's not full NFC but it's a start for real service discovery and I'm told that the reaction was very positive that we can expect this in the next gen iPhone"
RFID as you would have known, is a technology that works on radio frequency signals that can be used to track and manage objects embedded with IC chips that store and process these signals. In case of the iPhone, this RFID antenna could be placed inside the touch sensor panel, which will now also serve as an RFID transponder. So with an RFID sensor enabled, you may for instance, simply swipe your iPhone to make a payment. But this is not all. RFID has seen a wide variety of use cases in different industries. But the immediate impact could be on much simpler things. For instance, as Rosenberg writes, you could soon sync your iPhone with iTunes with just one touch of the devices.
As Rosenberg also notes, what will now be interesting is the impact it will have on the industry. With the smartphone manufacturers trying to stay at cut-throat levels of competition when it comes to offering features, an RFID on the iPhone could soon bring the feature to all other smartphones as well, which will usher in a vast range of new utilities and services that could work on our phones.
Here is a video of an RFID sensor enabled iPhone prototype in action. The prototype was developed by the folks working on a Near field project called Touch.
Do you think an RFID enabled iPhone is truly revolutionary? What uses do you see with such a phone? Please tell us in the comments.