The next iPhone could take advantage of Near Field Communication (NFC) to allow you to take your preferences, files and even applications from your home Mac and use them on other Apple computers. The inclusion of NFC tech could make having Macs on premises a priority for hotels and other businesses.
The rumor about NFC in the next iPhone revision comes courtesy of a source talking to Cult of Mac, who wished to remain anonymous. Initially, according to the report, the iPhone 5 would work sort of like an electronic wallet that carries around your personal information and allows you to use it on other Macs. That could include address book information, logins and more. Later, it could fully transform any Mac into a mirror image of your own.
Of course, the NFC tech needs both a transmitter and receiver, so Macs would have to be outfitted with the tech to take advantage, but that’s an easy enough addition to future models on the manufacturing side of things.
Apple’s recent hiring decisions back up these new rumors. Recent hires include a leading expert in the NFC field, and Apple has a lot of related patents on the books, so it’s likely that they are working on something to do with the tech. Whether what they’re working on will every see the light of day is another story.
If implemented, the new system could have a positive impact on Apple’s presence in enterprise. Imagine being able to change virtually any Mac into your own personal workstation just by being in proximity and entering a passcode. It’s something people who work on the road would really appreciate, and likely something that hotels and other businesses that cater to those travellers would have strong financial reason to implement.
It also would help Apple transition more of OS X to the cloud, a likely direction for all operating systems to take in the future, and it would be another link between Apple’s notebook and desktop OS and its mobile products. Greater integration is clearly a goal for the Mac maker going forward. Plus, if made available to iOS and Mac developers as a public API, there’s no telling what kind of innovative software we could see.
RFID is already rumored to be coming to iPhones sometime down the road, and that’s a type of NFC, so this is definitely one to watch. I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t see at least the seeds for this kind of remote portability sewn in Apple’s next round of major mobile hardware revisions.
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