Originally Posted by Harbinger
This whole NFC situation, just like AntennaGate, reflects the dearth of real engineering know how amongst tech bloggers.
I agree. I certainly hope there's no dedicated "NFC hardware" in Apple's digital wallet implementation. It has been thrown around a little that they might use Bluetooth, and I certainly hope so, for many reasons.
First, Bluetooth's everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Any other system would have to be built out, and they're not gonna do that. It's just not gonna happen! If it's specialized hardware only on the iPhone, I won't be able to go down to my local grocery store and buy things with my phone for over a decade! And that's even only if the system catches on as a system!
Second, people know Bluetooth. I'm not talking users, I'm talking hardware creators. Accessory makers. They understand it already.
Third, Bluetooth makes it possible for EXISTING iPhones to get this feature, too! Having an installed base of users on DAY ONE will make Apple's version succeed. Having to buy more iPhones to do it… will take far longer.
I mean, okay, picture this. How's this for the future of purchasing:
You drive to the store. Your iPhone knows where you are and reminds you what you're supposed to get. Not only that, it tells you what aisle those things are in, because the store has networked with Apple and uploaded its product layout to them. So you go to the aisle and find what you want. Pick it up, hold up your iPhone, picture of the QR barcode that has replaced the old style barcode on packaging. Now your iPhone knows what it is (1). Read that footnote first, then continue. You read it? Good, continuing. Not only does your iPhone now know what it is, it's on your list now as 'in your cart', because it probably is physically in your cart by now. Do the same with all the other products you want, and then… walk out. Just walk out. When you reach the boundary of the store geofence, your account is charged for the amount of the products in your cart. Just like an Apple Store today, but with every store.
You want a revolution? They'll give you two. One for consumers, one for store owners. First, Apple has psychologically legitimized the behavior formerly known as stealing. It'll take a few years, but we will completely redefine what it means to buy something in a physical store. No more cashiers, no more cash registers, no conveyor belts, no self-checkout machines that never work. Take it, scan it, walk out. All yourself. And even in advance. Make your list of exactly the products you want, pay for it in advance, and don't even scan it in the store; just in, cart, out. Simple.
Second, since each store's inventory and product location is connected to Apple's servers for the purpose of helping customers find what they want and at the best price and where they want to find it, when a customer makes a purchase, that inventory is deducted from the store's immediately at point of purchase. So store owners can see in real-time at any given time what products from what brands are selling best. This can also be uploaded immediately to the product's manufacturers. Product testbeds can give results in weeks instead of months. Manufacturing can be scaled back on existing products selling poorly and scaled up to meet a temporary or permanent demand for others.
(1) Your iPhone now knows this product. It knows you want this product. So it looks around for better prices for this product and tells you if it's cheaper elsewhere or the same price for a greater quantity. Additionally, now that it knows you want this product, in the future when this product is on your list and you get to the store, your iPhone will tell you if this product is currently in stock at the store. Because the store has networked with Apple and allowed Apple devices to check its inventory! And not just Apple devices, ALL devices. You'll see why above.