Check-In, NFC, & Touch ID

With Apple placing two NFC chips into the latest iPhones and the upcoming Watch and the strong likelihood that we'll see an NFC API at WWDC 2015 for iOS 9 curiosity abounds to what industries that are stagnant and complacent in their ways will attempt to do. At best I'll steer clear of hyperbole rather the potential of what we may see in the future from NFC.

Scenario:

  • Before traveling I locate a hotel I like and use Apple Pay to pay for and reserve my room at the selected hotel.
  • Upon landing in said city the hotel application recognizes I'm in the city where my reservation has been placed allowing me to check-in to my hotel using Touch ID (which the hotel does NOT have access to my fingerprint).
  • Once checked in I'm given my digital key that's added to the PassBook application that lasts during the time frame of my stay at the hotel. Instead of being given a card I can simply walk in go to the floor where my room is located and use Touch ID to open my hotel door.
Are executives in hotels smart enough to enable such technological advances to make things accessible and convenient for customers? Are customers too paranoid to prefer to use such a service? More than likely it'll come down to generational ideologies and my generation will more than likely prefer this method over the current and traditional method of going to the desk signing forms, given 2 cards to slide into the door several times until it decides to work.

Does this constitute laziness? Absolutely not, the ability to conveniently check in to a hotel in the most simplistic and secure way is ideal, and a potential inevitability. Now throw in the Watch where as long as there's skin contact there's no need to take your phone out, simply swipe your wrist along the reader on the door. If the watch is removed the operation would not work as understood with Apple Pay skin contact and a PIN (very similar to Touch ID) is required and if removed will cease it's operation of utilizing the pay functionality.

If this eventually becomes a reality in the next 2-3 years what other industries or services will utilize the NFC chips in iPhones and Watches? Museums can take advantage of this allowing a user to purchase tickets and enter utilizing the Apple Watch and/or an iPhone 6 with Touch ID, sporting events, and in one of the most entertaining ways movie theaters. One can imagine loading up an app to a movie theater getting notifications on movies coming out soon, purchasing tickets using Apple Pay, and using Touch ID or the Watch on the NFC terminal even using the NFC chip to send a purchased ticket to another user.

Though NFC has been around in a scattering of Android phones over the last few years and a lack of NFC terminals, this could inevitably change. With banks moving to chip and pin cards going forward and retailers needing to update their terminals by October 2015, a wave of technological advancements could eventually come as Google will in all likelihood increase their efforts of enforcing Android OEM's to deliver devices with NFC chipsets built in. Going forward things will only become more interesting.