Posts tagged Passbook

Will the iPhone 5s Support NFC and Fingerprint Scanning?

A Japanese website today has announced today that a Taiwanese firm (Chipbond) will be producing a number of components for the iPhone 5s, including the touch display driver as well as chips to support a fingerprint sensor and NFC features. The current rumour is relating to using the Fingerprint scanner to enhance security when using NFC for payments.

nfc iphone

Various different rumours have surfaced since apple acquired the security firm AuthenTec some time last year, who themselves have been heard to have started cutting off their own customers in order to focus their efforts on a “New Technology” which will presumably be integrated into the latest iPhone 5s. Various iPhone analysts have also been quoted around the Internet as saying that a fingerprint sensor on the next iPhone will really place the handset into a league of its own.

Including NFC has been a long-standing rumour for the iPhone, and its inclusion for the iPhone 5 failed to materialise however Apple could have novel plans up its sleeve for deploying NFC within the mostly aluminium case of the iPhone 5 that will undoubtedly encase the iPhone 5s, by means of a patent recently published which would utilise the circuitry of the touch screen to function as a RFID antenna, meaning no additional antenna hardware would be required.

[ad 1]It has been noted that apple are moving slowly in the mobile payments area of the market and this could be down to working hard to integrate NFC into the mix, meaning that apple can provide a complete payment solution of its own, which would hopefully, finally mean that the Apple Passbook can have a real use, as up until now in the UK the app has failed to really reach its potential.

Foxconn is also reported to be ramping up production and will be producing the iPhone 5s on the same production line as the iPhone 5.

Passbook Has Poor Support in the UK

UK-Passbook-Apps

With the launch of the new iOS 6 we saw a completely new feature included in the form of “Passbook” which is an app which promises to allow us to store all our tickets, vouchers, bookings etc in one place to make our lives easier. The only problem with this is that is required the support of the ticketing companies and here in the UK that simply hasn’t happened yet.

On Launch day the only app available to UK residents was “Lufthansa” which is an app that can store your boarding card for checking into your flight, and saving you printing out your boarding card, however with the way our airports currently operate dishing out a large fee if you haven’t checked in and printed your boarding card online I for one simply wouldn’t trust this app!

Now we are a couple of days after the launch of iOS 6 things haven’t really improved for Passbook in the UK, with only a small number of apps emerging, namely iHotel, United Airlines, Lufthansa and American Airlines (spot the trend here?) none of which are particularly useful to myself or the majority of British users as i don’t need to travel to the US that often!

Over the pond there are a few more apps available which does seem to bring hope to an otherwise failing app in the form of Starbucks and other various general uses for the app, a good one i could see happening in the UK would be for companies like Ticket Master whom issue event tickets and concert tickets, that market already uses QR codes to validate tickets on the door and so this wouldn’t take too much extra infrastructure to make it work however airlines currently use basic bar codes to validate their boarding passes and so switching to QR codes would require a big investment in equipment at the boarding gate to get things moving in the right direction.

My other concern with this app is what happens when your ticket disappeared off the app and no-body can tell you why, should you have a backup paper copy printed out ready to show at the event? will a confirmation email suffice? will you get turned away for something you have actually paid for? all these are questions that need to be answered before there will be a major take up of this app protocol and personally, i wouldn’t trust it as at least a paper copy of a ticket is a guarantee of admission, even if it is crumpled up and very tatty looking, a digital ticket on the other hand could be subject to any degree of tampering and fraud.

There is a silver lining with this app in that there has been a lot of talk on the passbook support forums of developers having trouble getting the app the authenticate tickets correctly and so the lack of UK apps could be down to development issues rather than the companies not taking up on the concept however only time will tell.

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