Apple revisits NFC implementation with patent application

iPhone maker Apple looks to be considering adopting NFC as details of a patent application emerge for gifting media files from one iOS user to another.

Much to the frustration of the NFC ecosystem, Apple has refused to implement the technology in any of its devices. Yet the patent application explicitly makes mention of the near field technology.

The patent application was filed in March this year and now has been published by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The system “generally relates to various techniques for gifting downloadable media files provided by an online digital media provider between multiple electronic devices”, according to the filing.

Using the system, a user may initiate a gifting process by selecting one or more media files on their iOS device to be gifted to a receiving device. When sending the gift, perhaps by bumping devices, the associated charges are applied to the sender’s account with their “digital media provider,” which could perhaps be iTunes or the App Store if the user is sending a song, movie or ebook.

“Thereafter, a gift offer may be transmitted from the initiating device to the receiving device using a close range communication protocol, such as near-field communication (NFC) connection,” the filing explained.

If a network connection is unavailable, the receiving device may transfer a locked gift file and a corresponding gift license to the giftee device using a P2P connection. The giftee device may authenticate the license and unlock the gift file once a connection to the online provider is available.

Of course, a patent application does not mean the patent will be granted and if it is it still may never see the light of day. It might even be the case that Apple is seeking to licence the technology or at least prevent its rivals from using a similar idea.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.