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Evidence of airline support for Apple's Passbook surfaces ahead of iPhone debut

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
A report on Thursday claims a Virgin Australia passenger using an iPhone running iOS 6 beta was prompted to save a digital boarding pass to Passbook, hinting that air carriers are readying support for Apple's forthcoming organization app for coupons, membership and other barcode-based assets.

According to the Australian Business Traveller, the passenger checked in to a flight using the airline's mobile website on his iPhone, which recognized the digital boarding pass from Safari and displayed a prompt asking whether he wanted to add the digital ticket to Passbook, suggesting that Virgin Australia's mobile site is employing Apple's new ".pkpass" mime type.

The file type, which allows the Safari web browser and email clients to recognize boarding passes to be sent to Passbook for processing and storage, has been available to developers for some time, though before Thursday there was little evidence of a major airline using the feature.

Currently, only United Airlines has officially signed on to support the upcoming iOS 6 feature, however other carriers are sure to follow suit as many already offer barcode-based digital ticketing.

Boarding Pass
Source: Australian Business Traveller


It is unclear if the traveller was able to board the plane using Passbook, however, as company protocol may not allow for the unreleased system.

Passbook is slated to debut alongside a list of new features when iOS 6 launches this fall. Apple this week sent out invitations to a Sept. 12 special event all but confirming the unveiling of its next-generation iPhone, which will run the new mobile operating system.
post #2 of 26

Okay, I really like the softer matte colors there and how it's not covered in glossy sheenyness, but that prompt is quite ugly and unrefined. I realize, of course, that this is a beta, but we're about two weeks from launch, so… 

post #3 of 26

Could Passbook ever take the place of NFR for buying most things?  Of is Passbook a stop gap until NFR gets its act together with regards to standards, security, and whatever other issue there may be?

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post #4 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Could Passbook ever take the place of NFR for buying most things?  Of is Passbook a stop gap until NFR gets its act together with regards to standards, security, and whatever other issue there may be?
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What the hell is NFR? National Finals Rodeo?
post #5 of 26

National Finals Rodeo, No.  

 

Near Field Rapport!  

 

Okay, okay.  NFC.

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Edited by Rot'nApple - 9/6/12 at 9:34pm

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post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

National Finals Rodeo, No.  

 

Near Field Rapport!  

 

Okay, okay.  NFC.

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...and not a NFC chip in sight... (or out of sight!)

Where are we on the curve? We'll know once it goes asymptotic!
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post #7 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Okay, I really like the softer matte colors there and how it's not covered in glossy sheenyness, but that prompt is quite ugly and unrefined. I realize, of course, that this is a beta, but we're about two weeks from launch, so… 

 

I think the matte colours are from Virgin Airlines. Looks to be as if Safari will detect pages that are passbook acceptable. But you're right, its ugly.

post #8 of 26

For all the frothing at the mouth anti-Apple neckbearded fanatics online that keep droning about how awesome it is that X phone has NFC and how pathetic it is that iPhones don't, I have yet to meet a single, real life, human being that has ever used NFC. I'm sure someone somewhere has used it, but if you just look at the comment sections online you'd assume it was mainstream and that people are clamoring for it. The retail infrastructure just doesn't exist yet, and if it is not included in the next iPhone, you can damn well be sure Apple thought about and assessed the hell out of the technology, before coming to a rational conclusion about its inclusion. 

post #9 of 26

Yes! Australia Makes it to AppleInsider :)

post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

National Finals Rodeo, No.  

 

Near Field Rapport!  

 

Okay, okay.  NFC.

/

/

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by IQatEdo View Post

 

...and not a NFC chip in sight... (or out of sight!)


Well according to certain Fandroid freetards, NFC is the hottest thing on Android phones right now.  If you don't have it, you're behind the times!

uhm... let's just set aside the slight technicality that there isn't anything out there using it, and no real standards haven't even bet set in stone yet... but hey, gotta have NFC man!!!

post #11 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Could Passbook ever take the place of NFR for buying most things?  Of is Passbook a stop gap until NFR gets its act together with regards to standards, security, and whatever other issue there may be?

 

While NFC has the great advantage of been a reasonably secure way making life easier the Passbook feature has the advantage that you can properly integrate with the company/place you are buying something from, very important for things like passports. It also has much room for growth, you don't need to be at the airport to buy tickets, you can do it from home, they are picked up by your iPhone as you wander into the location you are going to use them.

 

I'm not saying that Passbook is going to surpass NFC in every way and make it redundant just that it can, as you ask take the place of NFC for most things, but from the opposite direction. Passbook with start with the places that are wiling to make a large financial investment in this tech such as Airports and large chain shops. NFC will start in the places where it is cheaper, perhaps buy a new till or small stand-by-the-till device that'll do it.

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

For all the frothing at the mouth anti-Apple neckbearded fanatics online that keep droning about how awesome it is that X phone has NFC and how pathetic it is that iPhones don't, I have yet to meet a single, real life, human being that has ever used NFC. I'm sure someone somewhere has used it, but if you just look at the comment sections online you'd assume it was mainstream and that people are clamoring for it. The retail infrastructure just doesn't exist yet, and if it is not included in the next iPhone, you can damn well be sure Apple thought about and assessed the hell out of the technology, before coming to a rational conclusion about its inclusion. 

No one you know has use any of of the prox based credit card payment systems?
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by djsherly View Post

No one you know has use any of of the prox based credit card payment systems?

No one I know uses them. We all use small pieces of metal with laser etching of a Swiss bank account that we've had surgically placed under our skin. We do this because if ever get amnesia we'll have a starting point for a movie that would have otherwise not been able to go anywhere.
Edited by SolipsismX - 9/7/12 at 5:49am

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post #14 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

For all the frothing at the mouth anti-Apple neckbearded fanatics online that keep droning about how awesome it is that X phone has NFC and how pathetic it is that iPhones don't, I have yet to meet a single, real life, human being that has ever used NFC. I'm sure someone somewhere has used it, but if you just look at the comment sections online you'd assume it was mainstream and that people are clamoring for it. The retail infrastructure just doesn't exist yet, and if it is not included in the next iPhone, you can damn well be sure Apple thought about and assessed the hell out of the technology, before coming to a rational conclusion about its inclusion. 

I wonder if there's not a strong case to be made for people paying with barcodes on the screen of their phone rather than through the air. I mean, you have to be within a foot or two of the NFC scanner to make NFC work. If you're that close, why can't they just scan your screen?

Either way you would have to interact with the screen first to authorize the payment. In my example the app generates a barcode based on your authorization. You show it, scan it, and move on.

To me that's as convenient, and way safer.
post #15 of 26

Passbook has the big advantage of not needing any expensive, for shops, hardware. The bar code technology is simple and proven.

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

For all the frothing at the mouth anti-Apple neckbearded fanatics online that keep droning about how awesome it is that X phone has NFC and how pathetic it is that iPhones don't, I have yet to meet a single, real life, human being that has ever used NFC. I'm sure someone somewhere has used it, but if you just look at the comment sections online you'd assume it was mainstream and that people are clamoring for it. The retail infrastructure just doesn't exist yet, and if it is not included in the next iPhone, you can damn well be sure Apple thought about and assessed the hell out of the technology, before coming to a rational conclusion about its inclusion. 

I've got NFC on my HTC LTE 4G - haven't figured out how to use it or where?!

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbtinc View Post

I've got NFC on my HTC LTE 4G - haven't figured out how to use it or where?!

That;s the difference between Apple and most other companies. Apple isn't likely to include a HW feature that isn't design to assist the consumer. I can't think of a single HW feature they've added to a spec sheet just because they could despite not having thought through how the SW and services would work with the HW.

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post #18 of 26
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Originally Posted by Shogun View Post

I wonder if there's not a strong case to be made for people paying with barcodes on the screen of their phone rather than through the air. I mean, you have to be within a foot or two of the NFC scanner to make NFC work. If you're that close, why can't they just scan your screen?

I think the distinct is more like 6-8 inches.

There is a benefit to NFC in that there is an inherent security. Imagine if you wanted to make a payment would you want to access the app, input an amount which generates a barcode, which you then let someone scan? How would that work for a secure payment? The only way I can think of is if the barcode you generate is sent to a server with an expiration date and then when you scan it in it's sent to a server for verification that you just generated it. I'd think NFC payments are much easier. No need to do anything but input a PIN (if you have it locked) and perhaps choose which card you wish to pay with.

For a retailer's discount cards, flight bookings, or anything else you typically get sent via an email for conformation Passbook does make it much easier, especially with the location aware feature that will (hopefully) know when you are wanting to use certain card.

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post #19 of 26

I can hardly wait to see how many retailers, airlines, etc are signed up for Passbook. Come on Sept 12.  Gonna be mega!

post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

I can hardly wait to see how many retailers, airlines, etc are signed up for Passbook. Come on Sept 12.  Gonna be mega!

Now that you mention it this leak does elude to their being a segment at the event next week like they've done in the past to show how many partners they have.

Passbook is looking more and more like one of those things we never fully thought of but will wonder how we lived without it after we start using it.

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post #21 of 26
pkpass = Peace Keeper Pass

Apple is out to rule the galaxy.
post #22 of 26
Yeah Near Field Communications, frankly I don't see any problem for Apple in adding NFC to the platform in the future if it is needed. However this gets Apple off the ground with a system that cuts a very wide swath as far as usefullness goes. NFC is no where near as flexible.

Honestly I see very high adoption rates for this technology as long as the documents are standardized and open. That is pkpass would need to be supported on platforms other than iOS. Even without that support though there is little to keep vendors from saying yes to the tech, of it indeed works well with existing technology. For example I can see optical scanners having no problems with this tech, laser based scanners might be another issue. That is would a laser actually be able to see the bar codes on an LCD properly. I don't know, probably should try this at work. If the system can offer the use of existing infra structure as suggested I can see rapid acceptance.

You have to admit this is a very innovative approach to the old chicken and egg question. It beats NFC simply by saying new hardware isn't required. Not to knock the naysayers but this is something uniquely Apple, looking at a problem and coming up with a simple solution that doesn't fit into the common mold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

National Finals Rodeo, No.  

Near Field Rapport!  

Okay, okay.  NFC.
/
/
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Yeah Near Field Communications, frankly I don't see any problem for Apple in adding NFC to the platform in the future if it is needed. However this gets Apple off the ground with a system that cuts a very wide swath as far as usefullness goes. NFC is no where near as flexible.
Honestly I see very high adoption rates for this technology as long as the documents are standardized and open. That is pkpass would need to be supported on platforms other than iOS. Even without that support though there is little to keep vendors from saying yes to the tech, of it indeed works well with existing technology. For example I can see optical scanners having no problems with this tech, laser based scanners might be another issue. That is would a laser actually be able to see the bar codes on an LCD properly. I don't know, probably should try this at work. If the system can offer the use of existing infra structure as suggested I can see rapid acceptance.
You have to admit this is a very innovative approach to the old chicken and egg question. It beats NFC simply by saying new hardware isn't required. Not to knock the naysayers but this is something uniquely Apple, looking at a problem and coming up with a simple solution that doesn't fit into the common mold.

 

100% correct.  Mass adoption on day 1, no additional hardware for consumers OR retailers, and it'll work all the way back to the 3GS.  In other words, millions of users.  Very shrewd.

post #24 of 26
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post
…it'll work all the way back to the 3GS.  In other words, millions of users.  Very shrewd.

 

… Hopefully. But I wouldn't bet it works with anything but Bluetooth 4.0. So just the 4S… 

post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

There is a benefit to NFC in that there is an inherent security. Imagine if you wanted to make a payment would you want to access the app, input an amount which generates a barcode, which you then let someone scan? How would that work for a secure payment? The only way I can think of is if the barcode you generate is sent to a server with an expiration date and then when you scan it in it's sent to a server for verification that you just generated it. I'd think NFC payments are much easier. No need to do anything but input a PIN (if you have it locked) and perhaps choose which card you wish to pay with.

Usually such transactional systems base the authenticity of the transaction on cryptography, with each transaction generating a completely different output according to a random seed (also known as a key, because symmetric ciphers are really just big random number generators) only known by the client and host applications, so copying a transaction request is worthless as you can neither read the content (thus rendering you unable to manipulate it) nor re-use it.
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rot'nApple View Post

Could Passbook ever take the place of NFR for buying most things?  Of is Passbook a stop gap until NFR gets its act together with regards to standards, security, and whatever other issue there may be?

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/

yes, no new equipment and software to buy since anyone who has an app like this has already invested $$$ into it

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