Apple May Open Up NFC Chip – But Not To Banks
In a move that’s sure to irk the local Australian banks denied earlier this year, Apple has signaled plans to open up access to the iPhone’s NFC chip.
This week’s WWDC keynote showed off an Apple Watch syncing data with gym equipment to demonstrate some of the new features coming in WatchOS 4.
According to the document, applications will now be able to use the chip to “read tags to give users more information about their physical environment and the real-world objects in it. For example, your app might give users information about products they find in a store or exhibits they visit in a museum.
Until now, the only app able to make use of the iPhone’s NFC capabilities was Apple Pay. In fact, Apple’s refusal to open the chip up to other developers proved enough of an issue for several local banks to attempt to engage in collective bargaining in order to gain access to it.
While Apple is likely to stand by their refusal to allow financial institutions access to the chip (alleging security concerns), the decision to open up the iPhone’s NFC chip to other applications could make things like the iPhone’s interactions with wireless speakers even faster and easier.
Some have even suggested that the move could pave the way for the iPhone to replace NFC-based keycard systems like London’s Oyster card or Sydney’s own Opal card.