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iPhone to unlock hotel doors, act as virtual transit card after iOS 12 update

Published May 26th, 2018 1:31PM EDT
iOS 12 Features
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

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The iPhone 6 was the first iPhone to come with a built-in NFC chip, needed to handle Apple Pay transactions. Apple’s mobile payment solution came alongside iPhone 6 and has been available on all iPhones and Apple Watch models launched since then.

Apple, however, did not allow third-party developers to take advantage of the full abilities of the NFC chip until now. Things are about to change come iOS 12, which will transform iPhones into hotel key doors, virtual transit cards, to name a few examples of what can be done with NFC technology.

With the WWDC 2018 keynote just a few days away, The Information reports (via 9to5Mac) that Apple is about to make significant changes to the NFC chip inside the iPhone come iOS 12.

Used in third-party apps, the NFC chip will let you unlock hotel doors, your car doors, pay transit fares and verify your identity in other ways, the report says.

Apparently, Apple has already deployed the iPhone-based doors unlocking feature on its campus, where employees can open doors using their iPhones. Apple has partnered with HID Global to test the features.

The new functionality is expected to work just as quickly as Apple Pay. Tapping an iPhone to a door would suffice to unlock it. The same procedure would be used to pay for transit fares. The Information says Apple is working with Cubic on such features.

It’s unclear whether Apple will open NFC access to all developers starting with iOS 12, or just to a bunch of select partners. Apple will supposedly reveal these new iPhone features on June 4th, during its main WWDC keynote.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.