Apple imagines air travel with just an iPhone

There’s been plenty of attention surrounding the new Passbook digital wallet feature in Apple’s iOS 6, but, according to newly approved patents, that app is just the beginning of the company’s plans for a ticketless future.

CNN reported that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved an Apple patent from 2008 that focused on a number of travel-related uses for the iPhone, ranging from automatic baggage checking to security clearance triggered when travelers get in line. Theoretically, travelers might even have electronic passports stored on their phone.

The patent outlines its “method and system for transportation check-in” as one that uses near field communication (NFC), a technology not yet in any iPhone model, so any change to travel is still hypothetical. Furthermore, several experts told CNN there are major barriers in place that would prevent this change, including the security challenge of verifying a phone’s user is the person they claim to be.

Additionally, the technology would require widespread adoption and standardization across airports nationwide and globally, and, while there are currently efforts to digitize security processes, an e-passport is not likely to emerge soon.

Travelers already have to worry about protecting their mobile devices while on the road or in the air. Fortunately, with iPhone repair from iResQ, it’s easy to deal with travel accidents and get back to using the digital wallet technology currently at your disposal with Passbook.

Marcelina Hardy

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