Forget Bluetooth and Barcode Scanning: Next iPhone Going NFC

Remember the news from yesterday that Apple is investing in Near Field Communications (NFC) technology? Rumor has it now that Apple is already testing the technology in its prototypes. The technology could of course be used for facilitating monetary transactions, and it could also be used for other things. Other things? Think the ability to download data at high-speeds from kiosks, stores and events.

Tech Crunch is reporting that the Apple has been testing some NFC chipsets and that while the technology will probably not make it into the Verizon iPhone (funny how everyone seems to think that this is set in stone) but instead be available with the next big iPhone makeover.

With other smartphone manufacturers also wanting onto the NFC bandwagon, the technology could end up with some pretty wide support. Of course, Apple already has millions of credit cards already registered to iTunes accounts. This could give it a significant advantage over its rivals.

Research In Motion (RIM) has been touting its barcode scanning abilities with BlackBerry OS 6 and its BlackBerry App World 2.0. Sorry RIM, but with NFC as a real possibility on the horizon, barcode scanning seems kind of 1990s. Sure, scanning a barcode to start the download process of new app could be fun. However, with the ability to use NFC hot spots as customized high-speed servers seems a bit more fun. We’ll have to see how well both of these technologies are implemented in the future, but I’m putting my money on the technology that offers more and NFC seems to offer a lot more.

Hopefully, this technology will end up in malls. Just think of how retailers will jump at the chance to beam coupons and product magazines into smartphones when they enter a location. Or how about its use for interactive kiosks. A kiosk would be able download its brochure into a smartphone with a couple of taps. While the payment options NFC could bring are certainly useful, I am sure other implementations will make us rethink how we interact with our environments.

Think NFC is the next big thing? Barcode scanning still have some life left in it? Would you trust Apple to handle your on-site, wireless purchases? I am curious to know what you think so leave a comment and let me know.

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