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Home / News / Apple’s NFC patent could turn your iPhone into the ultimate all-in-one controller

Apple’s NFC patent could turn your iPhone into the ultimate all-in-one controller

Console? Camera? Sprinkler system? If Apple's patent makes it to fruition then your iPhone could control all these things and more

Hot on the heels of Apple’s iGlasses patent comes another glimpse into the Cupertino tech giant’s crystal ball – an NFC-infused iPhone which can connect to a multitude of devices and become a powerful controller.

The patent – which is excitingly titled as ‘System and Method for Simplified Control of Electronic Devices’ – involves an NFC chip embedded within a future iPhone which will enable it to control any RFID enabled device with a simple tap.

Imagine tapping your iPhone against a camera and turning it into a remote shutter, or controlling your automated home from the comfort of your sofa. Sounds nice doesn’t it?

The proposed system will also handily work in reverse. Tap the iPhone against a compatible games controller for example, and you can then use it to play iOS games with actual buttons and Joysticks – a godsend for those of you who think that Apple needs to up its game in the controller department.

An iPhone as a controller for the Apple iTV (which is likely to be US-only at launch) is also a likely use of the NFC technology – and we certainly wouldn’t be complaining if these features made their way into the iPhone 5.

[FreePatentsOnline via MCV]

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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home