Apple Investigating iBeacon-Assisted Mobile Payment Methods
Apple's iBeacon technology based on the Bluetooth LE standard is being installed in Apple Stores and other retail outlets to assist customers and send them promotions while shopping, but as noted by Patently Apple, a newly published patent application suggests this technology could also be used to send secure mobile payments while making purchases.
Patent application number 20140019367, filed in September 2012 and published today, describes a method that would send payment data through various wireless interfaces without compromising the user's data. The method uses two links -- one connection to a point-of-sale device to establish the initial connection and a second, secure connection that sends the payment information. This payment information is then processed by a backend server, which uses a shared secret to verify that the connection was secure before it authorizes the payment.
In one or more embodiments, a method of performing a commercial transaction is provided. The method includes establishing a first secure link over a first air interface by a purchasing device, the first secure link between the purchasing device and a point of sale device, identifying a second air interface different from the first air interface, establishing a second secure link over a second air interface, the second secure link between the purchasing device and a backend server, and conducting, using the second air interface, a secure commercial transaction between the purchasing device and the backend server using payment data secured by a shared secret known to a secure element in the purchasing device and to the backend server.
The payment method described in the patent may use NFC as well as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect the mobile device to the point-of-sale terminal. Though iBeacon is not directly named in the patent, it is easy to see how the technology could be used as the conduit for the secure Bluetooth connection. Apple even notes in the patent that NFC "is less desirable for longer transactions," while Wi-Fi or Bluetooth has "more desirable characteristics for maintaining the link over time than NFC."
The use of Apple's iBeacon technology, rolled out alongside iOS 7, is expected to increase over the coming year as other retailers such as Macy's have begun piloting the Bluetooth LE technology. Most recently, the Consumer Electronics Association used iBeacons for a scavenger hunt at CES 2014, while Major League Baseball will be bringing the technology to stadiums.
Apple changed the strategy for iOS 17 later in its development process to add several new features, suggesting that the update may be more significant than previously thought, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports.
In January, Gurman said that iOS 17 could be a less significant update than iPhone updates in previous years due to the company's intense focus on its long-awaited mixed-reality...
This year, all iPhone 15 models will include Apple's Dynamic Island that unifies the pill and hole cutouts at the top of the display, but there will also be a material change to the feature that wasn't included in the iPhone 14 Pro models.
According to a new tweet by Apple industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the proximity sensor on the iPhone 15 series will be integrated inside the Dynamic Island ...
We're still almost six months away from the official unveiling of the iPhone 15 lineup, but it seems like every day we're learning more about what to expect from the next-generation models. Notably, this week gave us our clearest look yet at what appear to be some changes for the volume and mute control hardware.
iOS 16.4 and associated releases are also right around the corner with some new ...
We saw a lot of great deals on Apple products and related accessories this week, including Samsung's iMac-like Smart Monitor M8 for $250 off, a 30 percent off spring sale at Anker, and the year's best prices on numerous AirPods models. All of these deals are still available to purchase right now, so we're recapping them and more below.
Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these ...
Apple showcased its mixed-reality headset to the company's top 100 executives in the Steve Jobs Theater last week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
In the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explained that the "momentous gathering" is a "key milestone" ahead of the headset's public announcement planned for June. The event was intended to rally Apple's top members of...
Some Apple employees are concerned about the usefulness and price point of the company's upcoming mixed-reality headset, The New York Times reports.
Apple headset concept by David Lewis and Marcus Kane Initial enthusiasm around the device at the company has apparently become skepticism, according to eight current and former Apple employees speaking to The New York Times. The change of tone...
While the iPhone 15 series is still around six months away from launching, there have already been plenty of rumors about the devices. Many new features and changes have been rumored for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in particular.
Below, we have recapped 10 changes rumored for iPhone 15 Pro models that are not expected to be available on the standard iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus:A1...
Following nearly six weeks of beta testing, iOS 16.4 is expected to be released to the public as soon as this week. The software update includes a handful of new features and changes for the iPhone 8 and newer. To install an iOS update, open the Settings app on the iPhone, tap General → Software Update, and follow the on-screen instructions.
Below, we have recapped eight new features and...
Top Rated Comments
Considering Starbucks just admitted to storing unencrypted customer data, and Target's Black Friday fiasco, your concern is extremely valid.
On the phone maybe; here in UK you are no longer able to get a bank card from any major bank without NFC built in.
In either case, I'm not sure I trust retailers to implement securely. :/
Starbucks, Neiman, Target, huge numbers of banks all flubbing up.
Yeah, you can get it on bank cards (although I've never had it on my Natwest ones), but how many shops use it?
Regarding iBeacon or Apple's theoretical proprietary payment system - unless it's made into a standard that anyone can use it's never going to be ubiquitous. Like with iMessage and Facetime - if Apple had made them open standards that anyone could use I would be able to get by with just them, but as it is I have to have Skype as well, and people nag me to get WhatsApp and Viver and other stuff with irritating names.