Two things that are guaranteed to mess with your brain: playing the oboe and reading dense Apple patent applications. You do find the occasional gem
, but often you'll read scores of pages only to discover that the so-called invention has already been put to use
by others. In this instance, Apple has successfully patented the idea of using NFC to establish a master/slave relationship between two smartphones, as a prelude to making a fully-fledged WiFi connection that allows the sharing of contact details or more complicated sequences of actions. Now, this is a smart idea, especially since the patent specifically talks about retail applications (shown above), but is the end result so wildly different to Android Beam
or even Bump
? Even Fujitsu came up with a similar concept for using NFC to trigger location-relevant workflows
. Either there's some significant overlap here, or we've spent too long playing reed instruments.