Apple’s near-field communication chip to gain new unique features with huge update.
Forgot your keys? That may no longer be a problem for Apple mobile phone users in the future as the iPhone NFC chip could soon have the power to unlock home and car doors.
The secure wireless chip is set to expand beyond payments.
The possible changes to the iPhone NFC chip could result in Apple users utilizing the NFC tech in their mobile phones beyond making mobile payments via Apple Pay, The Information reported.
The changes could lead to people using their iPhones for other security-sensitive interactions. Among these potential interactions include opening car doors, opening home doors, paying transit fairs and verifying their identity in other ways.
Apple employees are reportedly already using the new tech.
The publication also noted that employees of the tech giant already have access to the new near-field communications features. Employees have reportedly been using their iPhone’s to access offices and buildings at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino.
HID Global is the company behind the access control system used at the campus. HID Global is owned by Assa Abloy, the Swedish lock giant, and is a leader in the industry. Since 2014, or possibly earlier, Apple has been in talks with HID in regard to enabling this type of access control via the iPhone NFC chip.
Although the iPhone is currently able to unlock some smartlocks via Bluetooth, NFC is thought to be the more secure of the two techs. The reason is when used in mobile payment systems, the NFC chip has access to the phone’s “secure element”. This is the area that stores sensitive information, such as bank account numbers.
Changes to the iPhone NFC chip are expected to be officially announced next month.
No one officially knows what new NFC capabilities will be available for the iPhone. This is expected to be revealed at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, slated to begin June 4th.
That being said, according to The Information, once available, it’s rumored that the new features will also be compatible with older iPhones made as far back as 2014. These older devices can unlock the new iPhone NFC chip features simply by downloading a software update.