Apple has been granted a patent for an NFC-based travel check-in system. Originally filed in 2008, the patent application describes a theoretical application listed as “iTravel.” This potential system would store a traveler’s ticket information/reservations for trains, planes and auto rentals. The would-be traveler would only need his or her NFC-equipped device to complete the check-in process.
The idea of an iPhone controlled travel check-in is nothing new, but a process powered by NFC definitely is. It’s easy to see the advantages that “iTravel” would bring to travelers who own an iDevice, but there have been several suggestions that Apple isn’t completely sold on NFC technology. However, as with all patent filings, we’ll tread softly, because there’s no guarantee that Apple will ever use this technology.
As the iPhone 4S gets closer to its one-year anniversary and chatter of a next-generation iPhone begins to gain more steam, Apple will probably answer the question of an NFC-equipped iPhone and a bevy of other rumors soon with the release of iPhone 5.