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Apple Patents Alternative To NFC

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the bet-it'll-have-a-cooler-name dept.

Patents 171

another random user sends word that a set of newly-granted Apple patents published by the USPTO includes an alternative to the near field communication (NFC) technology that has begun to pop up in mobile devices. From the article: "Apple has received a Granted Patent relating to techniques for triggering a process within a portable electronic device that identifies itself for purposes of establishing communications with another device that is in proximity. At the moment, NFC is the technology that's getting all of the attention lately in respect to making it easier for two mobile devices to share information. While Apple is likewise doing research with NFC, they're also working with an alternate methodology for which they've now gained a patent for. In accordance with Apple's newly granted patent, a method for network device discovery monitors a compass output in a portable electronic device. As the portable device and an external device come closer to each other, a magnetic field signature is computed based on the monitored compass output. A determination is then made as to whether the computed signature could be associated with or implies that a previously defined type of electronic device (with which a network device discovery process can be conducted) is in close proximity. In other words, as the two devices come closer to each other, their respective magnetic characteristics cause the compass output to change in a way that implies that a network device discovery process should be initiated between the two devices."

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171 comments

Betamax, here we come... (4, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687029)

So will Apple try to licence this technology to other mobile manufacturers, or will it forever remain on the shelf, never attaining sufficient popularity for POS vendors to support it?

Re:Betamax, here we come... (4, Funny)

FyRE666 (263011) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687093)

This is a technology for sharing that's patented so it can't be... shared... er...

Re:Betamax, here we come... (2)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687233)

The one remaining theory is that Apple expects their devices to surpass all others, I suppose.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688019)

And only people with Apple products will be able to buy food.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41689039)

And only people with Apple products will be able to buy food.

Does this mean the "mark of the beast" is going to be the Apple logo?

Re:Betamax, here we come... (5, Funny)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#41690169)

And only people with Apple products will be able to buy food.

Does this mean the "mark of the beast" is going to be the Apple logo?

Isn't a bitten apple already a symbol for the original sin that got Adam and Eve evicted from paradise?

Re:Betamax, here we come... (2, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | about a year and a half ago | (#41690259)

If my experience is anything to go by, it will be the exact opposite. People with Android and other phones will have no problems but iphone users will be standing there poking at their tiny screen, wondering why their superior machine won't play with non-Apple world. Apparently sending a picture to a photo kiosk (they all seem to run on XP embedded) via bluetooth is beyond its capabilities.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (3, Insightful)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687119)

I put this in the same category as Apple refusing to adopt other standards, such as USB power. Reinforcing its reputation as an operation that doesn't play well with standards.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (3, Informative)

msauve (701917) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687419)

USB power has a fundamental limitation - micro-USB connectors are only rated for 1.7 A. The USB charging spec maxes out at 1.5 A. That's right at the edge for today's phones and battery technology. Lithium batteries exist which can be charged at a 1C rate, and a 1.5 Ah battery is about what most smartphones have. It's more limiting for tablets, which have batteries which can charge faster than USB can allow.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687627)

There is an engineering solution to the current limits - same trick that is used for high voltage power transmission.

At some point someone could make up a new standard in which the charger and the device could deliver higher power after both side negotiated for a much higher voltage. That could deliver a few time the current power for charging and falls back if the charger/device can't handle it.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (5, Interesting)

benlwilson (983210) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687899)

USB3 has charging standards which allow for much more power.
I don't think any manufactures have added support for it yet though.

Profile 1 - 5V @ 2A
Profile 2 - 5V @ 2A or 12V@1.5A
Profile 3 - 5V @ 2A or 12V@3A
Profile 4 - 20V@3A
Profile 5 - 12V or 20V at 5A (100W).

I believe the idea around profile 5 is so laptops can drop the custom power connector and use a USB3 port instead.
It makes things interesting if all laptop USB ports support all power profiles. You could charge one laptop from another and even make a figurative 'energy black hole' by looping the charge back again with another cable.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687909)

USB power has a fundamental limitation...

Oh really. Then why doesn't it limit my quad core Nexus 7? Are you saying that Apple's power design is bad?

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1, Funny)

BasilBrush (643681) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688141)

Well, for one thing it's only 7 inch (1280Ã--800) rather than the 9.7 inch (2048Ã--1536) of an iPad 3.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (4, Interesting)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688995)

Well, for one thing it's only 7 inch (1280Ã--800) rather than the 9.7 inch (2048Ã--1536) of an iPad 3.

iPad 3 is a power sucking monstrosity. The only reason Apple quadrupled the resolution was because of the scatterbrained design decision to let applications depend on fixed resolution. Exacerbated by the idiotic lack of hinting in Apple's font engine, so higher resolution is needed just to get equivalently sharp characters that Android gets with proper hinting. Oh, and the fixed resolution idiocy came back to bite Apple again with the iPhone 5 - forcing the funny looking too-long-and-skinny form factor just to keep the 640 dot display width. And letterboxing! Who was asleep at the wheel in the Apple's engineering department anyway? Well I'm not complaining of course. Strategy like this is the best and fastest way to transform Apple from a growth stock to a shrink stock. Which couldn't happen to a nicer company.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41690181)

So you haven't come here to discuss the technology, just to slag off apple. Try a change of perspective.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (2)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688371)

"Oh really. Then why doesn't it limit my quad core Nexus 7? Are you saying that Apple's power design is bad?"

you are charging your Quad Core nexus 7 at 2 amps? Wierd, because mine doesnt. Where did you get a special nexus 7 that nobody else got?

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41689303)

I think you got the special Nexus 7, as it seems to use almost all of the 2 amp rating of the charger I have. And looking around online, it seems like that is true of others too, although it will work with a crappier charger and charge slower.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687957)

I put this in the same category as Apple refusing to adopt other standards, such as USB power. Reinforcing its reputation as an operation that doesn't play well with standards.

And some Apple spinmod just reinforced Apple's reputation for not playing well with people.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688361)

Are you that brain dead? Please read up on the connector before you make idiot remarks like that.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (5, Interesting)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687123)

Maybe NFC is the Betamax

Major League Baseball said that 12% of post season tickets have been used digitally via the new passbook app on iOS 6

Re:Betamax, here we come... (2, Informative)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688593)

Maybe NFC is the Betamax
Major League Baseball said that 12% of post season tickets have been used digitally via the new passbook app on iOS 6

You should qualify that percentage. It's only 12% of the single game post season tickets that were sold online, not 12% of all their single game post season tickets. [thenextweb.com]

Also, that percentage doesn't take into account the iPhone users that bought the tickets but got lost on the way there, nor the iPhone users that bought the tickets that were just waved in by staff (or had to reprint their ticket on actual paper at the park itself) because the barcode couldn't be scanned in because of the glare on their screen, and nor does it count the iPhone users that were only trying to remove the unremovable PassBook icon from their homescreen and that ended up buying a ticket to the game by accident instead. :)

Actually, I was only kidding about that last one, iPhone users didn't accidentally buy post season tickets (at least not to my knowledge), but the part about iPhone owners being pissed off at having an unremovable PassBook icon on their homescreen, when most of them have no interest in buying Baseball tickets, nor any interest in PassBook. That part is completely true. Comments of these very upset iPhone users can be found all over the Internet.

You'll find these comments just next to some of the Android phone users complaining about having a NASCAR app on their phone, the only difference being that not all Android phones come with commercial bloatware, only some do, and that when they do, that bloatware can still be removed the homescreen even if it can't be removed from the phone.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

ikaruga (2725453) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688881)

Not necessarily. That would be like saying micro-USB is the Betamax just because most mobile accessories come with a Apple Dock connector.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

vux984 (928602) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688885)

Maybe NFC is the Betamax

No betamax was the technology only one company was allowed to make (sony), while everyone else in the industry made VHS.

What ever apple has is the isolated single manufacture tech. NFC is relatively ubiquitous and widely available.

So from this we can conclude the winning technology will be....

which ever one gets adopted by porn.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

azalin (67640) | about a year and a half ago | (#41690209)

My near field communications in the mentioned interpersonal interaction does usually not involve smartphones. On the other hand interpersonal interaction does not qualify as pron for those directly involved. So your point might be valid.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year and a half ago | (#41690281)

NFC is already widely accepted in many parts of the world and a cross-device standard available in everything from smart cards to phones, so it isn't going anywhere.

Apple's system seems to be much, much lower data rate at best. To be honest it seems more like a gimmick designed to allow users to do the physical action of bringing phones together like their NFC enabled friends can, but doesn't actually have the same functionality or data transfer capability.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (5, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687681)

"So will Apple try to licence this technology to other mobile manufacturers, or will it forever remain on the shelf, never attaining sufficient popularity for POS vendors to support it?"

Who cares? I'm not trying to troll here, but the fact is that NFC was largely busted almost before it came off the shelf (researchers able to covertly read confidential info from mobile NFC devices from several feet away).

Unless technology changes significantly and soon, making financial transactions via radio is just plain a bad idea. You want to exchange E-cards? Fine. You can already do that via infrared or wifi or bluetooth. You don't need NFC (or a similar device or protocol) to do it.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (2)

aurispector (530273) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687971)

NFC strikes me as a dumb idea, too. The bastard child of RFID and bluetooth. Apple will patent it's own alternative then foist it off on the fanbois to drool over. Neither will become the standard and apple's garden will remain solidly walled.

The only way NFC could become truly useful would be for you to surrender your last vestiges of privacy and control to your phone. Who really wants to convert to e-currency with all the tracking that implies?

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688115)

NFC strikes me as a dumb idea, too. The bastard child of RFID and bluetooth. Apple will patent it's own alternative then foist it off on the fanbois to drool over. Neither will become the standard and apple's garden will remain solidly walled.

The only way NFC could become truly useful would be for you to surrender your last vestiges of privacy and control to your phone. Who really wants to convert to e-currency with all the tracking that implies?

NFC's more fundamental problem though is adoption, which is the same problem with this Apple standard. The proposed use cases for NFC are very broad - that is, it doesn't remove any requirements from vendors and end-point users it simply adds new ones. Just look at VISA and Mastercard trying to push those PayWave type systems - and they're the dominant global players in this market.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688275)

"NFC's more fundamental problem though is adoption, which is the same problem with this Apple standard."

I understand what you are saying but I disagree. Adoption would cause problems. Very serious privacy and financial problems.

Remember, NFC isn't even relative "passibe" like RFID. The signal power might be low, but it actively transmits. If you can use cheap, portable, concealable gadgets to sniff NFC info from a distance, what about the people who are willing to spend money and install giant antennas on just the other side of the wall? (Like Chris what's-his-name who sniffed "secure" passport RFID info from people from in his car 30 feet away?)

Re:Betamax, here we come... (3, Insightful)

complete loony (663508) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688523)

I think the main problem is this fascination with building sub-standard cryptographic primitives into the network layer. NFC should just be a transparent network transport, assumed to be insecure. That higher level protocols can use for key exchange and other encrypted tunnel protocols.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (2)

SomePgmr (2021234) | about a year and a half ago | (#41689769)

My understanding was that NFC can (and should) be used exactly like that, where as a transport the limited range has some very small amount of utility in the way of security, but that you're meant to implement higher level cryptographic protocols on top, per application.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688399)

It's a neat idea it just doesnt work.. at least for the payment systems. every time over the past 30 times I have tried it, it takes 50X longer to pay at the register with NFC than whipping out the credit card and swiping. It has to have a constant data connection to the Wallet servers during the transaction, and 99% of all stores have a Cellphone blocking design of being made with all metal roofs and siding.

I've uninstalled Google Wallet because it's a complete failure. If it cant work without a live data connection, it's stillborn.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year and a half ago | (#41689509)

DOES NOT require a data connection during transaction. I have successfully purchased stuff in a store using Google wallet on my Nexus 7 with no data connection of any kind (other then the NFC link)

Re:Betamax, here we come... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41689211)

Who really wants to convert to e-currency with all the tracking that implies?

Everyone I know.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year and a half ago | (#41689619)

The bastard child of RFID and bluetooth.

Not really. It's actually a well-considered bit of technology. Go read up on how it works - you may be impressed.

Who really wants to convert to e-currency with all the tracking that implies?

Everybody who uses credit and debit cards? NFC has the potential to be those, but much more secure. Yes, the current implementation of Google Wallet is a turkey, but that's a software problem.

Replacing cash is a separate issue.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688059)

The proper comparison is Microsoft's Tag, http://tag.microsoft.com/home.aspx

Doesn't matter if they license it, or if they let other mobile companies integrate it. History says they probably won't. This just isn't going to catch on. It's a recreation of software and systems already in place and creating your own "brand" is just losing money, alienating and confusing users, and in general ruining the already existing possibilities of the established applications. Apple is just turning into Microsoft at this point.

Re:Betamax, here we come... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41689499)

Magnet + reed switch = PROFIT!?!?!?!

two phones... (2)

the_13th_saint (1076063) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687033)

I guess I can not carry two devices on me any more.

Re:two phones... (5, Funny)

gnoshi (314933) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687155)

You can still carry two phones, but now that they can talk to each other you'll be the third wheel - especially since they have so much in common. No longer will you rely on other people in the restaurant whispering between themselves about 'the guy playing with his phone': these phones will be able to do that whispering to each other! Progress!

Aren't they describing the human mating process? (5, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687059)

Apple probably will have a dating service app bundled in . . .

In other words, as the two devices come closer to each other, their respective magnetic characteristics cause the compass output to change in a way that implies that a network device discovery process should be initiated between the two devices.

Network device discovery process, indeed.

Re:Aren't they describing the human mating process (2)

siddesu (698447) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687271)

As far as I can infer from the summary, they are computing a hash of the readings of the compass sensor and pasting over them a Tasker task that switches bluetooth on and off. Patent-worthy? The part that computes the hash -- maybe, but it is hard to believe.

Re:Aren't they describing the human mating process (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687731)

"Apple probably will have a dating service app bundled in . . ."

There has been a device on the market, from Japan, for some years now. I don't remember what it's called. You can code in your personal tastes... perhaps you have particular dating preferences, say tall brunettes for example. Or even a fetish. When the device detects someone with similar coded characteristics or preferences, the devices beep and guide the people to each other.

I see no reason a similar app could not be developed for smart phones.

Prior Art: Bluetooth pairing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687103)

Ummm, justsayin.

Re:Prior Art: Bluetooth pairing (2)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687525)

Except that this isn't pairing. In fact, it sounds like this isn't even a form of data transfer at all. This is effectively a passive detection system for alerting some other form of wireless (e.g. Bluetooth) that it should try to establish communication. The comparison to NFC is apt, since they serve similar functions in some cases, though NFC seems to be far more capable than what the summary describes.

That said, it's possible that the power draw may be better with this approach than with NFC, and it may also be something that they can enable with a simple software update for any smartphones that have a compass built in (I'm no radio or magnet expert, so this is speculation on my part). If this can indeed be enabled with a software update, it would mean that on day one they would have hundreds of millions of devices already in people's pockets and using their standard, and it would also mean that they could save money by not having to include extra hardware for NFC in later models. That first point would be a pretty compelling reason for vendors to adopt their standard rapidly, since NFC has been hampered by the chicken-and-egg problem of having too few devices with it for stores to adopt it, but having too few stores using it for manufacturers to add it to devices. It's getting there, but it's been slow going.

sounds like NFC rip off to me (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687115)

subject says it all

Re:sounds like NFC rip off to me (1)

tooyoung (853621) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687721)

Does it sound like an NFC rip off to you because you are under the impression that NFC works in the way described by the Apple patent?

Ammo for the lawyers (3, Interesting)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687135)

I can give the Samsung (or any other party's) lawyers some ammo: prior art [hackaday.com]. A low-cost data interface using the magnetometer to extract data from a variable magnetic field. The granted patent covers this process almost verbatim, more than one and a half years after its first (published) development.

first to file sucker (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687195)

you lose

nope (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687313)

Prior art (which includes published research etc) still trumps first-to-file.

Re:Ammo for the lawyers (1)

numbsafari (139135) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687281)

This patent was applied for in 2009. I'm assuming Apple's engineers were working on the tech for some time prior to the patent being filed. The article you linked to is from 2011. So, in this case, it's not prior art.

Re:Ammo for the lawyers (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | about a year and a half ago | (#41689371)

Oh, was that the legal theory Apple was using in the Samsung case?

By the way, the US works under first to file now.

Re:Ammo for the lawyers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687323)

No it doesn't. This patent isn't transferring data over the magnetic field like your link shows. This is about using the magnetic field to identify, a nearby object and determine if that object is a phone. The data is then transferred suing bluetooth, wifi, 3G, 4G, Edge, etc...

Re:Ammo for the lawyers (3, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687347)

I believe you missed something important.

Definition: prior
adj. Existing or coming before in time, order, or importance.

File date for Apple's patent: Q4 2009
Your "prior" art: May 2011

Now, which one was the prior one again?

All of that said, it wouldn't surprise me if someone else did beat them to it. It just isn't the person you linked.

Re:Ammo for the lawyers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688133)

I believe you missed something even more important.

Definition: patent

noun: A mythical creation designed to limit innovation and protect wealthy US companies.

Do you really think prior work matters to a billion dollar US company like Apple?

Ask someone from the Korean company Samsung.

Re:Ammo for the lawyers (1)

victim (30647) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687371)

How on earth does a May 2011 hackaday come a year and a half before an October 2009 patent filing?

Patents: All of the words in the laws are important.

Re:Ammo for the lawyers (0)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687427)

Yes, sorry, I didn't notice the 2009 Q4 filing date there. Allow me to revise the argument: "not innovative" (I hesitate to write "obvious", since, it's not really that obvious) if a garage tinkerer can arrive at the same conclusion.

Not a good argument, tinkerers can innovate (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687487)

Allow me to revise the argument: "not innovative" (I hesitate to write "obvious", since, it's not really that obvious) if a garage tinkerer can arrive at the same conclusion.

I'm not sure if the Apple patent is innovative of not. But I think it's a terrible thing to proclaim that garage tinkerers are incapable of innovative thought. In fact I would say through history, they may even be the leading source of true innovation.

Re:Ammo for the lawyers (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687959)

Dude, could you be a little more sour grapes over this? At one point you're cackling and clicking your heels and when you find out that you're dead wrong you come off with "no big deal. sucks anyway."
 
Fuck. That screams fanboi in big bold blinking red text.

Patents =! Innovation (0)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688015)

Yes, sorry, I didn't notice the 2009 Q4 filing date there. Allow me to revise the argument: "not innovative" (I hesitate to write "obvious", since, it's not really that obvious) if a garage tinkerer can arrive at the same conclusion.

You've brought up a very pertinent point that most people sort of know deep inside but somehow don't wanna to say it out loud ---
 
Patents =! Innovation
 
 
Especially under current patent practices, too many things which are NOT even a bit innovative got patented.
 
For example: A rectangle with rounded corner.
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

Re:Patents =! Innovation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688729)

For example: A rectangle with rounded corner.
 
Except, you know, that's one patent that the courts scoffed at in the Samsung trial.
 
But don't let the facts get in the way. I know you got a lot riding on this with your big ego and shit.

Re:Ammo for the lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688889)

LOL ANDROID RULEZ apple fans are sheeple hur hur hur

Re:Ammo for the lawyers (2)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687657)

Except the patent isn't the same. There's no data being relayed over the magnetic field. Apple is just using the magnetic field to detect the presence of another device, not actually send any data stream. They use another protocol (likely in practice to be Bluetooth) to do the subsequent matchmaking and data transmission.

Apple's process actually avoids stepping on this patent at all by not using the magnetometer for data transmission.

Same thing, different form factor (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687139)

Isn't this how speed cameras work?
Can moves over coil in road, detects change in magnetic field. Camera takes picture of car, starts the process of identifying car that drove over the coil. There just happens to be two of these coils to detect the speed of the vehicle and the "device discovery process" is signaling a camera to take a picture for someone to look at the number plate.

Prior Art Re:Same thing, different form factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687247)

Cell towers/cell phones, Satelites to Satelite communication, ground to satelite communication, every space mission and space vehicle, submarine communication, any portable communication device (military and commercial), ...
Does the patent state that the device must be black and have rounded corners?

prior art , NFC , lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687177)

hahahahahaha

Apple does it again! (5, Insightful)

John Pfeiffer (454131) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687217)

And so Apple makes their products incompatible with the rest of the universe in yet one more way! It's not easy being an Apple customer, is it?

Re:Apple does it again! (5, Interesting)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687243)

Actually, this makes them infinitely compatible, since the iPhones rely on the magnetic signature of other devices to recognize them, possibly even without interaction from those devices. Passive recognition, in essence.

Re:Apple does it again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687521)

The iOS user base is big enough that vendors will clamor to support the new Apple tech and NFC will become as useful as a QR code. This isn't the laptop wars any more.

Re:Apple does it again! (2)

stephanruby (542433) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687823)

And so Apple makes their products incompatible with the rest of the universe in yet one more way! It's not easy being an Apple customer, is it?

I disagree completely (The only problem I do see with this move is that they'd try to patent such an obvious alternative to the technology). As an Android developer and as someone who is optimistic about NFC (not necessarily about payment NFC, but about the simpler use cases of NFC that do not require access to the hardware secure element). Whenever I speak to a potential client about using NFC, the conversation always gets steered to a way to make it backwards compatible for other devices.

And this is perfectly normal. When bar-code scanning technology came out, the human-readable version of that id wasn't removed (and for good reason, sometimes you'd need to manually enter that information with a keypad). Or when printing a QR code, it would be pretty stupid not to print the human-readable version of the same information (that is, at least unless you were making a QR puzzle or something, or you didn't have enough room to print out all the relevant information).

So developing alternative backwards-compatible solutions to NFC, like using Bump-like technology, or using Qualcomm All-Joyn-like technology, isn't meant to make it less compatible with other NFC devices, its main purpose is to provide a temporary backwards-compatible solution for the devices that do not have NFC in them yet, as this is really the only way most businesses will accept investing in NFC-technology in the first place -- only if you provide a backwards-compatible technology with it.

Re:Apple does it again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688863)

It's so easy being an Apple customer, I love all my Apple products almost as much as I love my windows desktop. They all sync and communicate with each other, I watch movies and shows on my iPad when I'm lazy and don't want to get out of bed. I prefer my computer to be the thing I tinker with, the rest I just want them to work without any thought.

Thanks Apple!

Pretty amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687231)

Ugh. People who give money to this company should be ashamed. I never really cared about the Apple vs PC debate before, but I can honestly say that I will start looking down on people with iPhones and Macbooks.

Re:Pretty amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687383)

You're seriously going to look down on people who don't give a flying fuck about your agenda simply because they bought a product that they happen to like?

Do you look down on gays too because they prefer a different kind of sex than you? I hope you die in a fire, you fucking bigot.

Re:Pretty amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688001)

yes

Re:Pretty amazing (1)

Tourney3p0 (772619) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688157)

He said he looked down on people who supported dirty mega corporations. There's nothing bigoted about that, regardless of whether you agree with his standpoint or not. You're kind of an idiot, aren't you?

Old Hardware? (1)

Githaron (2462596) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687251)

If I am understanding this right, this method uses hardware that already exists in most smartphones. Unfortunately, I double Apple wants to put this technology on all existing smartphones. At most, they will put it into the iPhone 5 since they didn't bother to put a NFC chip in it when they put it on the market.

*facepalm* (4, Insightful)

ilsaloving (1534307) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687265)

Okay, Apple is pulling a '90s Microsoft now. NFC isn't good enough cause they can't control it, so they just HAVE to make their own. Just like Microsoft did with WAV files, TrueType fonts, etc.

TrueType fonts (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687303)

came from Apple

Did anyone forget about BUMP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687275)

I could have sworn that BUMP uses a similar method of transmitting data. When 2 devices are shaken in the same location, it pairs and transfers data (over 3G in this case)

Power draw (1)

Dr Max (1696200) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687363)

Sounds like it would use a fair bit of power if it has to do calculations the whole time.

This is a valid patent... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687463)

...based on the prior-art of Steve Jobs. You just have to hold it like so
so it'll work properly. I don't see a problem here; all of you iApple haters,
go home!

rawest - I could get that was, but I was being kind...

Runs into same problem as NFC, readers... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687535)

Even if there's some reason to prefer this approach over the NFC that exists today, it still has the same problem of every vendor having to get a new device to receive the payments.

Re:Runs into same problem as NFC, readers... (1)

tidepool (137349) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687809)

I bet you that Apple would gladly take care of that for all but the largest and smallest of vendors. =)

Where is Google or Apple on this? (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688187)

I bet you that Apple would gladly take care of that for all but the largest and smallest of vendors. =)

I don't know, would they? I'm honestly not sure. I'm really surprised that Google has not given away a ton of NFC readers to merchants.

Sorry to leech the humor from your comment, it's just as aspect of this I found odd.

AFC - The Alternative to NFC (2)

SrLnclt (870345) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687543)

Apple acquires patents from the AFC (American Football Conference) after talks with the NFC fall through. Apple just had to get a piece of the $10B American Football industry.

Just what I wanted! (1)

gubon13 (2695335) | about a year and a half ago | (#41687597)

An even larger magnetic field around a device that spends 60% of the day no more than 8 inches from my testicles!

Re:Just what I wanted! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688077)

You should sterilize yourself before the magnetic fields do. Because if you think Magnetic fields have put any harm on your body what so ever then you are a fucking moron and should never ever bred.

Seems like a lot of effort to sherlock bump (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41687837)

Bump solved this whole phone2phone data transfer problem a long time ago, and its not even an ideal NFC use case to begin with.

Football (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688031)

Pretty sure the AFC is already trademarked.

How does this "replace" NFC? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41688237)

This sounds like an additional authentication tool to use in *addition to* NFC, not as a replacement mechanism. Methinks the summary is entirely FUD.

The reason for not using standard NFC... (1)

FSWKU (551325) | about a year and a half ago | (#41688903)

It's simple. If Apple were to use a standard NFC sytem, they would have to admit that the iPhone 5 actually isn't the be all and end all of smartphones. And even if they did, using a standard implementation would mean they couldn't act like they invented something entirely new that nobody had ever had or been using for one or two years prior....

The next big thing is already here? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41689133)

Can you use it to send a play list?

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