Apple has quietly hired an expert in Near Field Communications (NFC) that hints it might use short range wireless on future iPhones. Near Field Communications is short range wireless communication technology (~4 inches) that is used in mobile phones for a variety of applications including mobile ticketing, mobile payments, interactive advertising and more.
A report from NearFieldCommunications World said that Apple has recently hired Benjamin Vigier as its new product manager for mobile commerce. Vigier is described as an expert in near field communications (NFC) having been in the field since 2004.
Prior to this Vigier worked at US mobile payments specialist mFoundry, as a product manager for mobile wallet, payment and NFC. He conceived and managed both the PayPal Mobile service and Starbucks’ barcode-based mobile payments service and was also responsible for the development of mobile wallet applications for two top US mobile network operators and an NFC wallet application for a top three US bank.
Apple earlier has published a number of patent applications related to NFC technology. One in specific was the detailed use of an iPhone as an electronic wallet and payment system that could be used to pay a bill at a restaurant. This is likely the next big feature in the iPhone line, imagine it would be a new kind of revolution all together, where perhaps someday we could sit in a restaurant see the menu from the phone and even pay the bill from the phone itself.