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Apple awarded patent for NFC-based cross-platform data transfer solution

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 
The US Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday issued Apple a patent for a system that utilizes near field communications to activate device-to-device data syncing, much like the so-called "S Beam" feature found on certain Samsung Galaxy smartphones.

NFC
Source: USPTO


Apple's US Patent No. 8,458,363 for a "System and method for simplified data transfer" is a massive 84-page patent describing a number of ways in which wireless data syncing between two electronic devices can be accomplished. Of note, the property calls for the use of NFC components, which have yet to appear in Apple's product lineup.

The patent was first outlined by AppleInsider when the property's application was published in 2009. At the time, the filing showed promise as an easy method to swap files to and from various devices, especially given its ability to move data cross platform.

From the patent summary:

A method of performing the simplified data transfer may include initiating communication using near field communication (NFC) between two devices. Next, data associated with open applications on one of the two devices may be saved and then transferred to the other. Transferring the data may take place using a peer-to-peer connection other than via NFC.


For example, in one embodiment of the patent, a user can "tap" their NFC-toting iPhone to a similarly equipped Mac to initiate the transfer of wireless network data. Once the Wi-Fi network configuration information is received, files like a Keynote presentation can be transferred from the Mac to the iPhone.

NFC


Any number of NFC-enabled devices and file formats can be used in Apple's system, including the Apple TV and remote, a video game controller, Macs, iPhones, and more. In the patent language, two illustrative apps called "Grab & Go" and "Revisit" described possible mobile functions like syncing data from open applications on another device, and storage of data in the cloud.

NFC


When the application was first published, NFC was an outlier in American consumer products. The technology did have a following in countries like Japan, however, where contactless data transfer solutions like Sony's Felica RFID systems were ? and still are ? in wide use.

More recently, Samusung introduced a similar method of data transfer in its "S Beam" feature, which itself is built on Google's Android Beam utility. While the basic Android version relies solely on NFC as a mode of transport, S Beam is more in line with Apple's granted patent in that NFC is used to initiate an ad hoc wireless connection.

With Samsung's implementation, users can tap their phones together to share photos, video and other media, as well as activate advanced device-to-device functionality. Apple's patent also describes such usage, including peer-to-peer applications, but extends further by including support for a multitude of file types including music.

NFC


It is unclear if Apple will begin to include NFC technology in its product lineup, though Tuesday's patent would serve useful for owners with multiple Apple devices

Among the patent's credited inventors is former Apple executive Tony Fadell, known as the "grandfather of the iPod" and cofounder of thermostat maker Nest. Along with Fadell, the patent credits Michael Rosenblatt, Gloria Lin, Amir Mahood Mikhak, Taido Lantz Nakajima, Sean Anthony Mayo and Andrew Hodge as its inventors.
post #2 of 59
Does this mean that I'll finally be able to transfer data between iOS and OSX in a simple way, just like you were allowed to do in previous OSX releases with non-iOS phones?
post #3 of 59
Seems about right... Apple files patent in 2009... Samsung implements in 2012... And then advertises the hell out of it as a great innovation.
post #4 of 59

So why didn't they just... you know... release it in 2009? or 2010, or 2011, or 2012, or 2013, or ever.

post #5 of 59

Shouldn't the title mention the word PATENT?

Apple awarded NFC-based cross-platform data transfer solution

post #6 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by CustomTB View Post

Seems about right... Apple files patent in 2009... Samsung implements in 2012... And then advertises the hell out of it as a great innovation.

 

Uh no. S-beam is Samsung's re-branding of Google's Android beam which debuted in 2011 (and ya know, actually has devices that are NFC equipped)

Surely you can't be ignorant enough to think that NFC technology is Apple, Samsung or Google's innovation right? The NFC standard was developed by Nokia (among others) in 2004 and has been used in a variety of different devices ever since.

post #7 of 59

The NFC Forum was created in 2004.  They're the ones who came up with the idea of NFC initiating a different type of communication for file transfers.   So this patent can't be for just that.  (Edit: and yet it seems to include the idea as one claim, extending it to send all the files open on a "plurality of apps".  Wonder what the NFC creators will think of this.)

 

--

 

All NFC devices should support the "NFC peer-to-peer" communications mode. This is intended for device to device messaging.

 

Over that device comm link, the NFC Data Exchange Format (NDEF) is used to send messages for things like setting up Bluetooth or WiFi connections, transferring contacts, data, photos, etc. 
 
Each message type can be a URI, a MIME type, or a custom designator.   E.g. if a web URL is sent, then it's up to the receiving device to ignore it, open a browser, store it as a bookmark, or whatever.
 
It would be great if every device followed at least that standard and could pass basic information such as URLs, photos, contacts and office files.  That goes for every manufacturer.  Above and beyond that, is where the custom designators come in.

Edited by KDarling - 6/4/13 at 4:27am
post #8 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by NexusPhan View Post

Uh no. S-beam is Samsung's re-branding of Google's Android beam which debuted in 2011 (and ya know, actually has devices that are NFC equipped)
Surely you can't be ignorant enough to think that NFC technology is Apple, Samsung or Google's innovation right? The NFC standard was developed by Nokia (among others) in 2004 and has been used in a variety of different devices ever since.
Actually Googles Beam is NFC. Samsung's beam is different. It only initiates via NFC.

That is what is covered in this patent. Not transferring via nfc but rather using nfc to initiate a separate, faster connection.
post #9 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by CustomTB View Post


Actually Googles Beam is NFC. Samsung's beam is different. It only initiates via NFC.

That is what is covered in this patent. Not transferring via nfc but rather using nfc to initiate a separate, faster connection.

 

Actually Android beam sets up a connection via bluetooth and all exchanges are handled by bluetooth. It's the exact same thing.

 

Edited for clarity.


Edited by NexusPhan - 6/4/13 at 4:59am
post #10 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by NexusPhan View Post

Actually Android beam sets up a connection via bluetooth and all exchanges are handled by bluetooth.
Actually, it doesn't.
http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/connectivity/nfc/nfc.html

"The Android Beam™ feature allows a device to push an NDEF message onto another device by physically tapping the devices together. This interaction provides an easier way to send data than other wireless technologies like Bluetooth, because with NFC, no manual device discovery or pairing is required. The connection is automatically started when two devices come into range. Android Beam is available through a set of NFC APIs, so any application can transmit information between devices. For example, the Contacts, Browser, and YouTube applications use Android Beam to share contacts, web pages, and videos with other devices."
post #11 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post

Does this mean that I'll finally be able to transfer data between iOS and OSX in a simple way, just like you were allowed to do in previous OSX releases with non-iOS phones?

Yes, perhaps even on existing devices you own already, with iOS 7 (and maybe even 10.8, 10.9 for sure) - using AirDrop, if rumors are to be believed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesmcd View Post

So why didn't they just... you know... release it in 2009? or 2010, or 2011, or 2012, or 2013, or ever.

Apple doesn't usually release something just because they can. They wait until it is a good UX
post #12 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

The NFC Forum was created in 2004.  They're the ones who came up with the idea of NFC initiating a different type of communication for file transfers.   So this patent can't be for just that.  (Edit: and yet it seems to include the idea as one claim, extending it to send all the files open on a "plurality of apps".  Wonder what the NFC creators will think of this.) ...

 

The patent only says "may use NFC" for the initial recognition part.  This isn't an NFC patent or a patent for NFC communications.  

 

It's a patent on a method of communication that may include (in one small part), the standard NFC recognition/communication initiation. 

post #13 of 59

Seems like a pretty one note reason for sticking NFC into a Mac when AirDrop does much the same thing.

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post #14 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post


Actually, it doesn't.
http://developer.android.com/guide/topics/connectivity/nfc/nfc.html

"The Android Beam™ feature allows a device to push an NDEF message onto another device by physically tapping the devices together. This interaction provides an easier way to send data than other wireless technologies like Bluetooth, because with NFC, no manual device discovery or pairing is required. The connection is automatically started when two devices come into range. Android Beam is available through a set of NFC APIs, so any application can transmit information between devices. For example, the Contacts, Browser, and YouTube applications use Android Beam to share contacts, web pages, and videos with other devices."

 

You're gonna lose this argument. I use it all the time. It uses bluetooth. I am positive.

 

Nowhere does what you linked to say the request isn't initiated by NFC and completed using bluetooth.

 

Edit: Link directly from google

 

http://www.android.com/options/

 

"Just touch two NFC-enabled Android devices back-to-back, then tap to beam whatever's on the screen to your friend. Instantly pair your Android phone or tablet to Bluetooth devices like headsets or speakers that support the Simple Secure Pairing standard by just tapping them together"

post #15 of 59
Ever heard of a defensive patent?

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post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

Seems like a pretty one note reason for sticking NFC into a Mac when AirDrop does much the same thing.
I'm thinking that since they already have an exactly similar patent from quite a while ago that uses Bluetooth instead of NFC for the original setup, that this service can use NFC or Bluetooth interchangeably. It wouldn't be much of a solution otherwise. They'd have to tell anyone who wanted to transfer their files to a Mac to buy a new Mac and it wouldn't work with Windows machines at all.

This patent strikes me as a rush re-issue of something they've been talking about for years, with the single addition of NFC technology. It's possible that the only reason to include NFC now, is to make it Android compatible, or at least compatible with hardware that has gone the NFC route instead of Apple's (preferred) Bluetooth solution.
post #17 of 59

This will definitely be invalidated if Apple tries to use it in a law suit....

post #18 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post

This will definitely be invalidated if Apple tries to use it in a law suit....

Whhhhhyyyyyyy?

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post #19 of 59
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post
Whhhhhyyyyyyy?

 

Oh, good. I didn't have to ask.

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post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


Whhhhhyyyyyyy?

 

Prior Art ALL OVER IT.....

post #21 of 59
So, Apple files for a patent in 2009, Google implements a more limited but different implementation of Apple's idea in 2011, then Samsung decides Apple's way is better so they just copy their way of doing it knowing that it will take years to fight it. That is a big draw back of our patent system. Unless you wait until the last second to file, your ideas are available to be scanned and implemented by your competitors. in other fields its not as bad but in phones it sucks because some change their models every 4 -6 months, so the phone is at time off the market before it can even get to trial.
post #22 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesmcd View Post

So why didn't they just... you know... release it in 2009? or 2010, or 2011, or 2012, or 2013, or ever.
1. 2013 isn't over yet
2. NFC was not mature yet. Possibly still isn't. And Apple isn't known for jumping in while things are vastly up in the air, like which flavor is going to come out dominate

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post #23 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

 (Edit: and yet it seems to include the idea as one claim, extending it to send all the files open on a "plurality of apps".  Wonder what the NFC creators will think of this.)

You, who goes around implying you are an IP legal expert, knows that one claim does not a patent violation make.

Patents often have a first and even second claim because on the general tech of the matter, to set the stage. Then the more specific ones for that person/company's idea. Which is why a single claim does not a violation make.
Edited by charlituna - 6/4/13 at 8:39am

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post #24 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by sranger View Post

Prior Art ALL OVER IT.....

And what prior art is that.

Remember you are looking for tech or at least patents prior to when this was first published in 2009. Even better are things prior to the filing 2008. Remember to be specific with details

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post #25 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by genovelle View Post

So, Apple files for a patent in 2009, Google implements a more limited but different implementation of Apple's idea in 2011, then Samsung decides Apple's way is better so they just copy their way of doing it knowing that it will take years to fight it.

Or they are using different tech which Apple already determined was different and thus haven't sued, given they have had this patent for some 3 yrs. or the companies licensed the tech from Apple in a shocking move since we know they never do anything like that

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post #26 of 59

Didn't Phil Schiller say that both NFC and Wireless charging are stupid and they would never do anything with it? Or something along those lines? If that is the case, why is Apple getting patents on a technology they want nothing to do with?

 

Also, kinda off topic but why can companies get patents that utilize technology they didnt even create or have a hand in creating/determining specs for?

post #27 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

And what prior art is that.

Remember you are looking for tech or at least patents prior to when this was first published in 2009. Even better are things prior to the filing 2008. Remember to be specific with details

I don't know if this would help or not. I haven't used it.
http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2012/08/improving-google-patents-with-european.html
melior diabolus quem scies
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post #28 of 59
Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post
Didn't Phil Schiller say that both NFC and Wireless charging are stupid and they would never do anything with it? 

 

No one (at Apple, at least) would be dumb enough to say that about any tech until they'd done their own work on it. Both NFC and wireless charging are gigantic revolutions in their individual rights. They're the future of not only the tech industry, but for the worldwide economy AND every single device that uses electricity, respectively.

 

NFC as it is will not be that revolution. It's horrible and wrong. It's just not integrated in the right way.

Wireless charging as it is will not be that revolution. It's horrible and wrong. Inductive charging is wrong.


Also, kinda off topic but why can companies get patents that utilize technology they didnt even create or have a hand in creating/determining specs for?

 

Because… they can. And why are you pretending this is the case for Apple? Who are you to determine what "specs" are? The "specs" of the current crop of "NFC" crap? YEAH, THAT'S WORKING OUT WELL FOR THEM. lol.gif

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post #29 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

Because… they can. And why are you pretending this is the case for Apple? Who are you to determine what "specs" are? The "specs" of the current crop of "NFC" crap? YEAH, THAT'S WORKING OUT WELL FOR THEM. lol.gif

 

 

Dude you read way too much into what people say and I never said I was the person to determine what specs are. Certain companies are "inventors" of technology that everyone uses. And the specs for certain technology are written in stone for how it works. You cant call something Bluetooth if it has to be wired into a device in order to make a data connection.

 

And here is the link of Schiller saying that wireless charging is basically not worth it because it is still something that has to be plugged-in in order to work.

 

http://allthingsd.com/20120912/interview-phil-schiller-on-why-the-iphone-5-has-a-new-connector-but-not-nfc-or-wireless-charging/

 

Edit: And NFC isnt crap as far as Disney is concerned considering it is using it now to get people into parks, buy food, etc instead of using tickets.

 

http://www.pymnts.com/briefing-room/mobile/nfc/Disney-Is-Where-NFC-Dreams-Come-True/

post #30 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post


I'm thinking that since they already have an exactly similar patent from quite a while ago that uses Bluetooth instead of NFC for the original setup, that this service can use NFC or Bluetooth interchangeably. It wouldn't be much of a solution otherwise. They'd have to tell anyone who wanted to transfer their files to a Mac to buy a new Mac and it wouldn't work with Windows machines at all.

This patent strikes me as a rush re-issue of something they've been talking about for years, with the single addition of NFC technology. It's possible that the only reason to include NFC now, is to make it Android compatible, or at least compatible with hardware that has gone the NFC route instead of Apple's (preferred) Bluetooth solution.

 

Maybe, but bluetooth doesn't work by proximity tap like that does it?  My current bluetooth devices work all the way halfway across my apartment, and I wouldn't want to set off a file transfer just by going into the same room as my Mac, there would need to be a different initialisation.  I suppose they could sense a tap using the accelerometer on the phone, but again there's no counterpart on the Mac.  If the initialisation is via UI on the screen then AirDrop would seem to do the same thing, and be better for the task, as wi-fi is so much faster than bluetooth.

 

Can see this being occasionally useful on iOS, but the mention of the Mac has me a bit confused.

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post #31 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post

Didn't Phil Schiller say that both NFC and Wireless charging are stupid and they would never do anything with it? Or something along those lines? If that is the case, why is Apple getting patents on a technology they want nothing to do with?

 

Also, kinda off topic but why can companies get patents that utilize technology they didnt even create or have a hand in creating/determining specs for?

No.

 

Apple has said in the past that NFC is "insecure" (it is), and that wireless charging still requires the wireless charger to be plugged into the wall anyway (it does).  These are both good, valid reasons not to move forward with those technologies or to move forward carefully.  

post #32 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by NexusPhan View Post

You're gonna lose this argument. I use it all the time. It uses bluetooth. I am positive.
I can't lose the argument because there isn't one. You simply are incorrect.
Quote:
Nowhere does what you linked to say the request isn't initiated by NFC and completed using bluetooth.
So you missed, "This interaction provides an easier way to send data than other wireless technologies like Bluetooth, because with NFC, no manual device discovery or pairing is required."
Quote:
http://www.android.com/options/

"Just touch two NFC-enabled Android devices back-to-back, then tap to beam whatever's on the screen to your friend. Instantly pair your Android phone or tablet to Bluetooth devices like headsets or speakers that support the Simple Secure Pairing standard by just tapping them together"
Notice there is a period between beaming what is on your screen and pairing a Bluetooth device
Pairing Bluetooth devices has nothing to do transferring data over NFC or Android Beam.
The tap initiates an NFC message which then triggers the Bluetooth pairing with headphones/speakers.
post #33 of 59
Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post
Certain companies are "inventors" of technology that everyone uses.

 

And you're claiming Apple isn't one of them.


And the specs for certain technology are written in stone for how it works. You cant call something Bluetooth if it has to be wired into a device in order to make a data connection.


"NFC" isn't a "certain technology". It's an acronym.


And here is the link of Schiller saying that wireless charging is basically not worth it because it is still something that has to be plugged-in in order to work.


RIGHT. Because it's INDUCTIVE. But actual wireless charging IS the future of everything.


And NFC isnt crap as far as Disney is concerned considering it is using it now to get people into parks, buy food, etc instead of using tickets.

 

The system is their system. It's internal; not scalable. 

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post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

And you're claiming Apple isn't one of them.


"NFC" isn't a "certain technology". It's an acronym.


RIGHT. Because it's INDUCTIVE. But actual wireless charging IS the future of everything.

 

The system is their system. It's internal; not scalable. 

 

1) I never said Apple wasnt one of them. In fact I never mentioned one specifically nor did I say that Apple wasnt an inventor. Again you are making stuff up and reading into things that I did not say.

 

2) Yes it is short for Near Field Communication. A separate and unique technology built off of RFID.

 

3) Ok. I look forward to the day that true wireless charging comes out.

 

4) It is still a good use of NFC technology that isnt "crap". I dont understand the point you were trying to make.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Near_field_communication

post #35 of 59
Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post
1) I never said Apple wasnt one of them.


Yeah, you did, thanks.

 

2) Yes it is short for Near Field Communication. A separate and unique technology built off of RFID.


Which is also an acronym. Not a specific technology. My stars.


3) Ok. I look forward to the day that true wireless charging comes out.

 

So do I.


4) It is still a good use of NFC technology that isnt "crap". I dont understand the point you were trying to make.

 

It's not scalable, it's not universal, it's not accepted… What do you mean "what point"? Your entire point has been about standards; why wouldn't I be talking about a standard in reply?

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post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Yeah, you did, thanks.

 


Which is also an acronym. Not a specific technology. My stars.

 

So do I.

 

It's not scalable, it's not universal, it's not accepted… What do you mean "what point"? Your entire point has been about standards; why wouldn't I be talking about a standard in reply?

1) Quote me on where I specifically said Apple was not an inventor. You cant because I never said that.

 

And the rest Im not even going to bother trying to argue with a crazy person.

post #37 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesmcd View Post

So why didn't they just... you know... release it in 2009? or 2010, or 2011, or 2012, or 2013, or ever.

Because now they can use it as a feature to get people to upgrade to either a new device or new OS.

I think the idea of device tapping is lame. They can just do it the same way as AirDrop and use wifi-direct for fast speeds. Bluetooth is far too slow, devices have 802.11n now.

You can just be in a meeting, two or more people tap on an icon to transfer files, the sender initiates the transfer and they all agree to receive it. Fast, no stupid bumping and allows multiple recipients, even multiple devices. You can't do anything useful bumping a Galaxy Whatever up against a laptop. You could do your iWork presentation or large Garageband masterpiece on the sofa and just send direct to your desktop when you are done without figuring out how to go through email, iCloud or iTunes.

It can even be used in education at all levels. The teacher can have an iPad with notes on it and they can setup a session at the beginning of the class and send the notes out to the students. Android students are going to fail anyway so it doesn't matter that they don't get the notes or they can get them from the web.
post #38 of 59
Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post
1) Quote me on where I specifically said Apple was not an inventor. You cant because I never said that.

 

Right here:


Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post

…why can companies get patents that utilize technology they didn't even create or have a hand in creating/determining specs for?

 

Claiming both that NFC is a "specific technology" AND that not only are there are "set specs" for it but that no future differences from said specifications could exist.


Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post
Certain companies are "inventors" of technology that everyone uses. And the specs for certain technology are written in stone for how it works.

 

And then here, one would imagine that Apple, being the inventor of this methodology of NFC, is one of the aforementioned "inventors", except you magically don't think so because, again, "NFC" the "technology" as it exists already is the "only" possibly way it can be.

 

You're good, but not good enough. I give it seven out of ten, but I had to take points off for the stupid act where I had to spell out your lies.

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post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_CA View Post


I can't lose the argument because there isn't one. You simply are incorrect.
So you missed, "This interaction provides an easier way to send data than other wireless technologies like Bluetooth, because with NFC, no manual device discovery or pairing is required."
Notice there is a period between beaming what is on your screen and pairing a Bluetooth device
Pairing Bluetooth devices has nothing to do transferring data over NFC or Android Beam.
The tap initiates an NFC message which then triggers the Bluetooth pairing with headphones/speakers.

 

As of 4.1, stock Android Beam transfers data over Bluetooth unless the data is small enough for transfer over NFC.  Samsung's S Beam establishes a WiFi Direct connection.  So yes, you're wrong.

 

http://android.stackexchange.com/questions/26509/whats-the-difference-between-android-beam-vs-s-beam


Edited by wakefinance - 6/4/13 at 11:31am
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

 

Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post
1) Quote me on where I specifically said Apple was not an inventor. You cant because I never said that.

 

Right here:


Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post

…why can companies get patents that utilize technology they didn't even create or have a hand in creating/determining specs for?

 

Claiming both that NFC is a "specific technology" AND that not only are there are "set specs" for it but that no future differences from said specifications could exist.


Originally Posted by joshuarayer View Post
Certain companies are "inventors" of technology that everyone uses. And the specs for certain technology are written in stone for how it works.

 

And then here, one would imagine that Apple, being the inventor of this methodology of NFC, is one of the aforementioned "inventors", except you magically don't think so because, again, "NFC" the "technology" as it exists already is the "only" possibly way it can be.

 

You're good, but not good enough. I give it seven out of ten, but I had to take points off for the stupid act where I had to spell out your lies.

 

Again, you are reading into something I did not say and making stuff up. Even in your "proof" I still never even said "Apple". That was a generalization asking how companies in general, not referring to Apple explicitly, can get patents based on a technology they did not have any hand in creating. I never said that Apple wasnt an inventor and you are just making a fool of yourself to anyone reading this thread.

 

And I never said anything about future uses. Technology can grow and evolve. Like how Bluetooth has evolved with the latest standard to use less power and have higher data transfers. But as it is right now, that is the current spec. As far as the NFC technology is concerned, Apple is simply using it(in the patent) as a method for initiating a data transfer between two devices and that the transfer itself may take place using something else, like BT or WiFi.

 

Im done trying to talk with a crazy person who cant stand to be wrong.

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