I think we all knew that credit cards would eventually disappear. While I’m not sure cash ever will (or should) completely go away, there’s a lot of convenience in being able to carry less stuff. With Apple’s new near-field communication (NFC) announcement, we’ll be able to make purchases by waving our iPhone or iPad over a terminal.
We are SO in the future, people. And it’s about time. I’m tired of carrying around stuff I don’t use that often and the more stuff I have in my pockets, the higher the chance I’ll lose it. Here’s what I i carry around and what technology like near-field communication can do about it.
Wallet (debit card, some cash, driver’s license and business cards)
My wallet is slim and can’t handle more than ten business cards and a few bills folder over before it starts to look bloated and uncomfortable. NFC would replace my debit card and any credit cards, and an application like Bump would do well in eliminating the need for me to carry around any business cards. I don’t see the license going anywhere, though.
Keyring with fobs
I love my girlfriend’s new key that has a fob built in. No more bulky pockets! Technology to open cars already exists, as Zip Car has already implemented it. I can see people being weary of electronic-only locks, so I’d settle for my iPhone to replace my door locks but at least have an ignition key optional.
I have yet to find a suitable replacement for chapstick or a solution that incorporates chapstick into some sort of multitool appliance. I will continue to carry chapstick.
The implications of NFC for iPhone and iPad range far beyond convenience. Your purchases would be tied to your iTunes account, which would make iTunes one of the largest purchasing systems in the world. There is no doubt that merchant accounts and similar services (Square) are going to be deeply affected.
One company as the gatekeeper for much of your audio and video, most of your computing habits and now with their hand in possibly ever single purchase you make.
Do you trust Apple that much?