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Patents Technology (Apple) Apple

Apple Patents Alternative To NFC 171

Posted by Soulskill
from the bet-it'll-have-a-cooler-name dept.
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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Apple Patents Alternative To NFC

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  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @06:47PM (#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.

  • by msauve (701917) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @06:55PM (#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.
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @07:21PM (#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.

  • by stephanruby (542433) on Wednesday October 17, 2012 @09:23PM (#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.

  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Thursday October 18, 2012 @12:02AM (#41689509) Journal
    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)

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