Apple is reportedly experimenting with the idea of placing an RFID reader (Radio-Frequency Identification) into its next-gen iPhone. Einar Rosenberg runs the Near Field Communications Group on Linkedin.com recently stated, citing a highly reliable source, that “Apple has built some prototypes of thee next gen iPhone with an RFID reader built in and they have seen it in action. So its not full NFC but its a start for real service discovery and I’m told that the reaction was very positive that we can expect this in the next gen iPhone.”
An RFID enabled iPhone could potentially allow users to pay for goods simply by swiping their iPhones over a payment pad, and pay highway tolls in a similar manner.
In 2007, Apple filed a patent with the USPTO describing a method of embedding RFID circuitry into a touch sensor panel. The abstract reads:
The efficient incorporation of RFID circuitry within touch sensor panel circuitry is disclosed. The RFID antenna can be placed in the touch sensor panel, such that the touch sensor panel can now additionally function as an RFID transponder. No separate space-consuming RFID antenna is necessary. Loops (single or multiple) forming the loop antenna of the RFID circuit (for either reader or tag applications) can be formed from metal on the same layer as metal traces formed in the borders of a substrate. Forming loops from metal on the same layer as the metal traces are advantageous in that the loops can be formed during the same processing step as the metal traces, without requiring a separate metal layer.
But of course! It’s so simple!
At the present time, RFID technology can be found in everyday items such as credit cards, passports, and is even used to track herds of animals. Below check out out a video from the Touch Project demonstrating an RFID enabled iPhone.