Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Apple Granted Broad "Transportation Check-in" NFC Patent

On July 10, 2012, Apple was granted US Patent 8,215,546, "System and method for transportation check-in."

The key claim limitation is that a photograph of the traveler must be retrieved by the verification system (e.g., airline check-in kiosk) via the NFC interface of the handheld device (e.g., iPhone) for verification.


1. A method for transportation ticketing check-in, comprising:

  • prompting a traveler to place a handheld electronic device comprising a display and a plurality of wireless communication interfaces within range of a near field communication (NFC) reader, 
    • wherein the display is configured to display a graphical user interface, 
    • wherein each of the plurality of wireless communication supports a respective communication protocol, and 
    • wherein one of the plurality of wireless communication interfaces comprises an NFC interface; 
  • retrieving ticketing and traveler identification information from the NFC interface of the handheld electronic device via the NFC reader; and 
  • verifying the traveler's identity using the retrieved traveler identification, 
    • wherein verifying the traveler's identity comprises comparing a photograph retrieved from the handheld electronic device to the traveler. 

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