Apple working on hot new Near Field Communications iPhone app with hidden surprises

iphone 4 cases“In May 2010 we were shown Apple’s iPhone roadmap in respect to their forthcoming e-Wallet and Shopping companion Apps,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Applications that will require Apple to present the market with new NFC (Near Field Communications) enabled iPhones sometime in 2011 (if we’re lucky),” Purcher reports. “In todays patent report we’ll explore a new Apple patent that reveals that NFC is going even deeper into the next generation iPhone.”

Purcher reports, “Today, Apple introduces ‘Products +’ a generic name for a future ‘benefit management application.’ The idea behind the patent is that Apple will work with participating vendors – be they a trendy coffee vendor or electronics or book retailer – so that their packaging will sport an NFC tag. This tag will be able to be read by a user’s NFC enabled iPhone which could in return surprise the user with hidden benefits ranging from free merchandise to free music and a lot of options in-between. The benefits angle to an NFC enabled iPhone could tip the scale in a any given sale and I think that this has the potential of being an explosively hot feature to kick off the NFC revolution on the iPhone.”

Read more in the full article, which includes real-world use examples and Apple patent application illustrations, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


  1. I can see enormous potential problems regarding privacy. I would expect at the very minimum the ability to disable any NFC system.

    Minority Report here we come 🙁


  2. This isn’t like geo location. This is like seeing ads in a magazine with an NFC code that you’ll swipe and simply gain something like a free movie pass or a free iTunes song etc. This is not intimidating and privacy won’t be an issue in most cases. This is going to be made fun by Apple so that we adopt it aggressively. At least in the first 3 years, this should be a blast!

  3. In Canada we have Tim Hortons which is like your Starbucks (though we have both) and they have a game that’s called “Roll up the rim to win.” Straight forward. You buy a coffee, roll up the rim that’s around the cup when your done with your coffee and under the rim are prizes you could win like hockey game tickets right up to a car. They have a lot of winners to get you sucked into buying their coffee and donuts. The Apple example would work much better with your iPhone or iPod touch scanning a code. Rogers in Canada just signed onboard for NFC so I could see this coming to market in about two years time. Excellent idea, great timing.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Tags: ,