Apple is reportedly planning on increasing the scope of the iPhone NFC (near-field communication) feature. It’s currently limited to tools like Apple Pay, allowing users to make payments at cash registers in stores.
The Information claims Apple is going to make a significant change to the iPhone NFC chip next month. The shift will allow people to securely unlock doors which also have NFC enabled. The new tech would replace the need for keys since all a person would need is an NFC-ready smart lock.
iPhone NFC Uses
Forgetful folks who can’t remember where their key is would benefit the most since all they’d need is their iPhone. Even tech-savvy hotels could get on board. Establishments would just have to send a guest a virtual key card instead of a physical one.
The report says Apple is also working on other applications for the iPhone’s NFC powers. For instance, commuters could utilize their device to pay for transit fares. Car owners could unlock their car with a wave of their handset. People could deploy it as a digital identity card as well.
Some smart locks already use the iPhone’s Bluetooth capabilities to unlock doors. However, Bluetooth isn’t as safe as NFC. This is important for places like offices and government agencies where security is critical.
People familiar with the matter say that Apple is already testing the new NFC abilities at its Cupertino campus. Employees are apparently roaming in and out using nothing but their iPhone to enter buildings and offices.
The Information had actually broken this story 4 years ago when it reported that Apple was working on NFC to make way for iPhone-enabled transit ticketing and building security. The brand supposedly collaborated with a campus security vendor called HID Global for the initiative.
There’s no exact date mentioned for the unveiling of the iPhone’s door-unlocking skills. Apple will probably show off the feature as part of iOS 12 at the WWDC 2018. The festivities begin on June 4, so watch out for this particular announcement.