RFID Talk Blog

RFID could enable “black box” concept for future iPhones

Everyone is waiting for the iPhone to eventually be equipped with near-field communication. Aside from being a boost to the contactless payment movement, an NFC-enabled smart phone could also store vital information that would allow for a hardware failure to be quickly diagnosed by Apple, even if the handset is nonfunctional.

An article in last week’s Apple Insider refers to the strategy as being similar to the black box on airplanes that stores data that can be retrieved in case of a catastrophic event like a crash. The concept was recently revealed in a new patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. Discovered by Apple Insider last week, it is entitled “RFID Circuitry and Methods of Using the Same to Provide Information of Events Pertaining to an Electronic Device.”

Here’s an excerpt from the Apple Insider piece:

The proposed invention notes that RFID can be used in a variety of different methods, and gives examples of it being utilized with highway tolls, inventory management, badge entry, public transportation, and wireless transactions.

In those examples, RFID circuitry in a device, like an iPhone, provides information to an RFID reader. But that information is usually “fixed,” sharing information that does not usually change, such as a credit card number or unique identifier.

Apple’s proposed invention would use RFID circuitry to selectively provide different, dynamic information as needed. In this way, the data being shared by an RFID chip in an iPhone could be modified to communicate variable information.

Click here to read the entire article.

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