We all would agree to the fact that the smartphones have become a basic utility in this fast-paced tech-savvy world. These small pocket-sized devices allow us to carry on with the tasks which were earlier possible only with a computer or laptop. The smartphones available today allows us to perform a number of tasks such as making/receiving calls, surfing the web and even capture our moments with the help of integrated cameras. It would not be wrong to say that the smartphones have now become an extension of a user's identity. Now, Apple wishes to make the smartphones a personal ID device which will help the users in long run. Apple's vision is to make the iPhones as an ID proof and potentially replace the passports altogether.
According to some reports, Apple has recently submitted a patent application at the US PTO (the United States Patent and Trademark Office) for the same. The Cupertino giant is said to have submitted the patent on March 30 describing a system which will import the identity credentials by implementing a short-range radio and store the information on a secure element.
The Apple's patent is dubbed as 'Document importation into secure element', and the application describes the implementation of a secure onboard storage system. This storage will work with the Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) technology in order to store the credential information verified the government. This will further allow the smartphone to act as a ID proof, Passport or any other form of a document issued by the government which can be verified.
One section of the patent reads, "In one embodiment, a computing device includes a short-range radio and a secure element. The computing device reads via the short-range radio, a portion of the credential information stored in a circuit embedded in an identification document issued by an authority to a user for establishing an identity of the user."
The patent application further reveals that Apple desires to implement a technology similar to the modern passports that come with an integrated RFID chip. The RIFD chips in the passports comprise user-related data such as the passport owner's name, date of birth, nationality etc. As this is a patent application, it is not clear at the moment if the future iPhones will come embedded with this technology or not. If Apple manages to introduce this technology for the users, it is definitely going to help them in a long run.