Apple hasn’t implemented NFC or near field communication technology in any of its devices as yet. The next generation iPhone will reportedly have NFC, but there’s no confirmation about that just yet. Nevertheless, the company has filed for a new patent that describes a method that users might be able to take advantage of in the future. The patent describes the ability to gift iTunes content to other iTunes users simply through NFC.
The patent was published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, its titled “Media Gifting Devices and Methods.” The patent actually discusses a number of methods. There’s one method in which a user would select any song, movie or book from the iTunes Store and send it as a gift to another user. In this scenario, the sender’s account gets charged and the recipient receives a notification to download that content free of cost. Users can also gift content from their own iTunes Library. Its similar to the previous method, the sender’s account gets charged and recipient gets notification to download that particular content from iTunes.
The NFC related method would allow people to gift content even when they’re not online. A user would be able to gift content from their mobile device’s iTunes library by simply tapping their device with the recipient’s. The content will be transferred, but it would be locked. When the sender’s device goes online, their account will be charged and the content will be unlocked on the recipient’s device. The implementation of the technology described in this patent would only be possible once Apple brings NFC to its mobile devices, and no one knows for sure right now when that is going to happen. [Image via AppleInsider]