Apple NFC RFID Touchscreen Patent – iPhone / iPod / iPad

More fuel to the Apple iPhone NFC (Near Field Communication) rumour machine has just been spotted.

It appears that the Cupertino-based tech giant has posted another NFC patent for an RFID reader – this one happens to be incorporated into the screen of a ‘portable touchscreen device’ – NFC equipped iPhone’s and iPod’s anyone?

The new Apple “Touch Screen RFID Tag Reader” patent plans out the proposed “efficient incorporation of RFID circuitry within touch sensor panel circuitry”.

The potential iPhone 5 NFC system includes a mobile ID app for reading RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tacks and a method of using RFID to sense and detect available Wi-Fi networks.

The apparent iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad mobile ID app would also combine the RFID reader with the camera and an IR image capture device to identify objects – this should cover quick links to sites, instant price comparisons, e-Wallet payments, Oyster Card access, etc

So – will Apple actually be loading their handheld’s with NFC tech or will they stick with the the third-party route for payments and such – that would mean that they’re just stock-piling patents and are ready to pounce on some unsuspecting tech company with the full-force of Apple’s letigious legal team.

What are your thoughts?

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