Pickens writes "The Telegraph reports that Apple is developing technology, already being nicknamed the "iKey", which will allow users to unlock their car, front door and gain access to their office with a single electronic device like the iPhone. Users would simply have to enter a pin code and wave the device over an electronic pad fitted beside a door to open it. "The device can communicate with an external device to open a lock. By way of example, the electronic device may be a model of an iPhone," says Apple's patent application. "The external device may be any suitable electronic device such as a portable media player, personal data assistant or electronic lock that may be used to access a door, car, house or other physical area." According to the patent, the iPhone would be used to unlock doors to buildings and cars by exploiting a technology known as Near Field Communication, which allows electronic devices to transmit information between each other when in proximity. "If true, it's a very big deal. As well as opening doors and unlocking your car, it could also turn your iPhone into an electronic wallet and ID card," says Leander Kahney, a consumer technology expert. "The trouble is that the technology hasn't gone completely mainstream. If Apple were to adopt the technology, they would likely set the standard, and that would drive widespread adoption as everyone scrambles to make their systems iPhone-friendly.""
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