As Google and Apple strive to embed their devices more deeply into our daily lives, near-field communication (NFC) remains a question mark for both companies. While Google’s Wallet has experienced low adoption, Apple has been reluctant to release a solution of its own. But with last week’s announcement of Touch ID, Apple may finally have its sight set on NFC and mobile payment.
How Apple innovates
The last few years have shown Apple to be methodical about any major innovation. They release a few disparate features over time then use a final feature that ties them all together--creating something new and achieving rapid adoption. Looking at last year’s Passbook and this year’s Touch ID, it’s not hard to see that something bigger is on the horizon.
A little over a year ago at WWDC 2012, Apple announced “Passbook” as a way to use time- and location-based triggers to easily access appropriate content, such as displaying movie tickets when you enter a theater or an Amtrak eTicket the day of your next trip. While a useful tool, Passbook isn’t as widely popular as one might think. It is a nice-to-have, but not a necessity in our daily lives.
Enter Touch ID--Apple’s latest addition to the new iPhone 5S. Billed as a quicker way to unlock your device or an alternative to entering your (long) Apple ID password, the fingerprint ID function is, again, a nice-to-have with great potential. Today, Touch ID is a simple way to access your device without sacrificing security. Tomorrow (or next year), it could revolutionize electronic payment.
Mobile Payment Through NFC Technology
As Passbook and Touch ID permeate our digital lives, Apple is poised to unveil its long-awaited solution to mobile payment in the iPhone’s next iteration. Passbook has been building more support among vendors but hasn’t ventured into mobile payment due to obvious security issues. Now that Touch ID has come along, Apple has a perfectly integrated answer that, in a year, could be a part of everyone’s daily routine. So next year, when you walk into a Target and your iPhone prompts you to pay with your store credit card, just confirm with a touch and thank the tech gods for making your life a little bit easier.
What do you think is in store for Apple’s latest special feature? Are we pipe-dreaming or right on target? We’d love to hear your thoughts, so leave a comment or question below.