Will Apple's new patent turn the iPhone into the iKey?


Apple have reportedly filed a patent for a piece of wacky space-age technology that will allow iPhone users to use the much-lauded device to act as a replacement for keys for the likes of the family car or the family home.

In the patent, which the Telegraph claim has been filed in the US of Americana, the following words appear…

“The device can communicate with an external device to open a lock. By way of example, the electronic device may be a model of an iPhone. The external device may be any suitable electronic device such as a portable media player, personal data assistant or electronic lock that may be used to access a door, car, house or other physical area.”

Known as Near Field Communication, it’s a similar sort of technology that is used in Oyster cards and keyless car shenanigans by the likes of Lexus, Toyota and Mercedes – and Apple clearly want a piece of that action to jam into the iPhone at some point.

Perhaps the day will come when the iPhone will be an instant source of paying for goods as well as a way of getting in and out of your house. *GROTESQUE SEXISM ALERT* You might even be able to deploy it to start the wife off in bed on a Saturday night while you watch the end of Match Of The Day…


  • Shopdis F.
    Oh great, so when the crappy battery dies on this shit phone, normally after an hour, you will be locked out of your house and unable to start your car. FANTASTIC idea.
  • Gadzooks! B.
    [...] As we revealed at 9am, Apple are exploring the idea that an iPhone could theoretically replace your old-fashioned set of keys. [...]
  • Gavin H.
    Oyster cards do not need batteries – they recieve power wirelessly from the source of the “lock”. So even if the battery does run out, it will still open the locks – or pay for goods. Not so bad an idea afterall really!!?!?
  • bykergrove
    they just filed the patent so that when a real company actually develops the technology apple can sue them. tech squatter scum
  • PaulH
    byker byker byker grove yeahhhhhh ah haa ah haa ah haa
  • Marty P.
    What a clever idea. Popbitch readers are still sniggering at last week's story about Oyster Cards letting you navigate the new Guardian Newspaper's HQ and its secure doors. Woulnt be so funny on your own front door thogh would it....

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