The tech industry is abuzz with news that Apple’s upcoming iWatch will include a near-field communications (NFC) chip. Industry analysts are speculating that the NFC capability could explain the iWatch’s lofty retail price, which has been reported in the range of $400.
If true, the reports reveal a vital part of Apple’s iWatch strategy. Like any company with diversified offerings, Apple wants its customers to own multiple products. Thus, one of the key ways they’ll entice consumers is to build in capabilities that its other products don’t have, or can’t easily achieve. An NFC-enabled iWatch would open up a whole new world of potential applications, from making point-of-sale payments with a quick swipe of your wrist to unlocking your front door or starting your car.
Technology pundits are also surmising that the iWatch could be part of Apple’s Home Kit platform. With “smart home” technologies keyed in as an area with massive growth potential, an NFC-enabled iWatch could link up with Home Kit functions to facilitate easier access to system controls.
Other potential applications of an NFC-enabled iWatch include airport check-ins, public transportation access, and permanent, secure storage of personal health records and medical information. While Apple’s existing product lineup already supports most of these functions to lesser or greater degrees, the iWatch is expected to make them easier and more convenient to access, use and manage.
Mobile application developers have long recognized the potential of near-field communications. With NFC technologies expected to make major inroads in the near future, now is the time to anticipate the ways in which they could transform everyday living.
If the iWatch proves to be the success Apple hopes it will become, it could change the face of iPhone app development in Boston and across the country. A watch capable of carrying out a limited but extremely convenient set of applications could become a big hit with tech-savvy consumers the world over.Tags: apple smartwatch, apple wearable, data storage, health records, homekit, iwatch launch, mobile commerce, near field communications, nfc, security, smart home