On January 15, 2015, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a series of three patent applications from Apple that detail the specifics behind Apple Pay via Touch ID. The patent filings meticulously detail how the system will work with making future banking transactions or at current participating retailers and for purchasing apps and other digital media online via the App Store, iTunes and future online stores. The sole inventor behind all three patents that were originally filed in 2013 is Apple's software engineer Greg Kerr who came to Apple via the Authentec acquisition. Greg was VP of Software Development at Authentec.
Apple's first electronic wallet patent application surfaced in May 2010. Our first report covering this important new development was titled "Transaction: Apple's e-Wallet App Finally Surfaces in a Patent." For Patently Apple fans, today was a very satisfying day as one of Apple's most important long-term projects finally come to life almost 4.5 years after it first came to light. It didn't come via rumors or from a self-created theories; it came from investigative work that we do week in and week out. And in the last 4.5 years we've covered every major Apple invention on this subject matter. In fact we're the only Apple site that created a special archive to cover this very important project. Today, Apple blew us away with their new digital wallet solution and service that they simply call Apple Pay.
An Internet-facing identity management system is vulnerable to a variety of attacks, including account take over, fraudulent activities, creation of fraudulent accounts and denial of service attacks. As hackers and fraudsters are getting better and more sophisticated in online transaction attacks, there is a need to detect and remediate fraud in real-time to protect consumers and businesses. Today the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new fraud detection ID management system. To a certain degree Apple is already using it context with their iTunes online store. As Apple moves into the ecommerce world with a future iWallet, such a system is going to be a huge benefit to users. So with Apple testing out their new fraud detection system out now, it will ensure that the system is in place once they introduce their iWallet application which, from many accounts, could debut in the next year or two.
On July 31, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals new security control features for their future iWallet application. The new security system will work with an iPhone and Apple's iTunes Store on a Mac. The controls will allow parents to set boundaries for spending and track all purchases. Apple's patent also introduces us to the digital wallet processing engine. Last week a new rumor surfaced that discussed Apple's iWallet working with Visa's Digital Solutions sometime in the next year. Whether Apple's iWallet will make it to the iPhone 6 is unknown at this time.
On May 22, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a new robotic arm system for testing iPhones. Before devices are sold to customers, extensive wireless tests are performed. Testing allows designers to optimize antenna and wireless transceiver performance. Testing also ensures that regulatory limits on emitted radiation levels are satisfied. As smartphones are now being designed with the capability to operate in a large number of frequency bands and using multiple antennas, conventional testing systems are becoming overburdened leading to potential delays. Apple has designed a new testing system that uses a new robotic arm. And while we're on the topic of multiple antennas, another Apple patent surfacing today reveals a new antenna structure that will combine NFC with Non-NFC communications to the same antenna. With Apple recently signing an e-Wallet deal with China UnionPay requiring NFC, Apple's latest NFC invention may very well be making its way to the iPhone 6.
On April 03, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a simple yet sophisticated next generation SIM card tray ejection system. The system is activated on a future iOS touchscreen UI virtual button. The new system adds a new level of security for SIM cards which will be important as future iDevices may support bank related SIM cards for credit and/or debit.