One of the highlights of the recent infographic based on GSMA report on mobile economy is the section called «The Unstoppable Rise of NFC».
The fact that almost one in four smartphones shipped in 2012 were NFC-enabled (Forrester, Gartner. August 2012) indeed indicates that the technology spreads out dramatically. However, skeptics emphatically argue that before such influential actor as Apple starts producing NFC-enabled devices there is no bright future for NFC to expect. They also point out that Apple hasn’t still announced any plans for NFC intergration. In September, 2012 Apple’s VP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller stated that “It’s not clear that NFC is the solution to any current problem.”
Nevertheless, at the same time as he was making that claim, engineers in Apple were in fact finishing up a new NFC patent application that they filed in October 2012. It was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office last week. This patent carries a new and distinct focus relating to establishing an NFC session. Moreover, this is far from the first NFC related patent by Apple: in the 2008-2010 timeline, the company introduced a number of Near Field Communication centric patent applications covering everything from Tickets to iTravel and much more. Apple has set up a firm foundation for future NFC applications in different spheres from shopping, banking, travelling and daily interconnectivity with other devices in the home, with a friend or retailer. In particular, the iTravel patent for travel-related check-ins using NFC granted to Apple a year ago as well as a patent filed in April, 2012 for “gifting” iTunes purchases through NFC, the hire of an NFC expert in 2010, and code dumps that point to NFC technology made Wired claim that «it looks like Apple’s next iPhone could include NFC».
The recent Apple’s patent for establishing NFC sessions could indeed give a major boost to the NFC & Contactless industry and, accordingly, startups in the field. It again emphasizes that Startupbootcamp NFC&Contactless programme is highly timely. Be in the right place at the right time too! Apply for our accelerator programme and grow your startup.