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How Apple, Broadcom, and Y Combinator will put a bullet in NFC's head on September 10th

It won't be Apple alone this time (remember how Steve Jobs killed floppy drives when he brought the NeXT to the world, or killed Flash when iPhones came to the world?). This time Scott McGregor, CEO of +Broadcom and Y Combinator's new +Estimote, are helping Apple put a bullet in NFC's head. 

How? It's called Low-Energy Bluetooth. AKA Bluetooth 4.0. More details on that here: http://www.bluetooth.com/Pages/Low-Energy.aspx

The players? 

Broadcom builds a good percentage of the radios inside our smartphones.
Estimote, last week, showed off a new contextual set of sensors and low-power Bluetooth radios. I got a good demo that you'll see soon and their system is the best thought out I've seen: http://estimote.com/
Apple is, well, Apple and has the best distribution network known to the tech industry (I was reminded of this yesterday as signs above the Genius Bar in its San Francisco store taught me about what geo fences are).

So, what did Scott and Broadcom show me today? Low-cost device that has a Bluetooth radio, a small processor. You can see a video I shot of Scott on my Google Glass below.

Why is it important? Well, this whole package runs on a small battery for about two years! It also costs only a few dollars (in large quantities). 

What does this let developers do? Well, let's say we put 100 of these things around the Ritz by my house. We could stick them under every chair. The bar has one. The entry way has one. The pool has a few. The spa has a few. The front desk has one. Each of the Segways has one. Each golf cart has one.

What would this let you do? Well, you could order things and have them come to you. Why? Each of these devices continually spits a number, er, identifier, into the air. Your iPhone (which will get a new thing called iBeacon when iOS 7 comes along that enables this) will see these "beacons" in real time. If you come within 100 feet of one of these devices your phone can start doing stuff. Then the stuff it can do will change when you are 20 feet away. Get 10 feet away and it will do yet more. Finally when you get within inches it knows that too.

On your screen things will contextually change as you walk toward or away from one of these beacons. Come closer to the bar at the Ritz, for instance, and your iPhone screen could show the drink specials today. It could even know what kinds of wine you like and contextually suggest another one you might like.

Oh, and each of these could have other sensors. For instance, a temperature sensor, so staff could get warned when it's cold outside and bring guests hot chocolate and blankets, not to mention turn on heat lamps (the lamps themselves could be controlled by these, so they would only turn on if someone was within a few feet).

The use cases go on and on. These could be used for payments. Ask for another glass of wine at the bar? Your phone is your identity and the Ritz could charge you automatically for it without asking for any cash or credit card.

What I realize now is that Apple is ahead of Google on its support of these new low-power Bluetooth devices. Yeah, Android supports it, but that ecosystem is so fragmented that it can't deliver a common experience to everyone the way Apple can. So, Apple will get the credit here.

I expect Apple will lay out a new contextual world strategy built on top of these low energy Bluetooth devices on September 10th.

If it does, Tim Cook could justifiably shut up naysayers like me who have been giving him heck lately. He also would shoot NFC in the head, since it wouldn't have a reason to exist anymore. 

Damn it, Cook might get a two-for-one with what Broadcom announced today. Somehow I think Scott might be getting a holiday card from Cook. Drat, I should have bought some Apple stock back when it was under $400. 

Boom.

Oh, and I interviewed Scott in the new +Geekdom San Francisco space where we're looking for contextual startups (wearables, Google Glass, big data/cloud, social, location-tech focused startups) to share this space with us. Is your startup looking for a great San Francisco address? Drop me a line! scobleizer@gmail.com
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129 comments
 
I appreciate the push towards BLE, but BLE and NFC don't exactly cover the same problem space. There's use for both.
 
Payment solutions. BLE requirs little power, but the passive part of NFC runs on nothing but inductive power. So it'll be NFC in your customer loyalty- or ATM cards...not BLE.

BLE will run all those sensors around you, saving lot's of power wasted with Bluetooth Classic in the past.
 
What about security for payments? How is that problem solved via the technology described above?
 
Um, the irony here is that the world ignored Apple's attempt to kill flash. Flash is still alive. It outlived Steve Jobs.
 
flash not dead, just too poor to implement my point at the moment.
 
But if a phone replaces ATM and loyalty cards....
 
How does this work with credit cards that have nfc? Btw I'm a heavy user of Google Wallet especially now that more and more places in nyc are offering it.
 
Very cool. Nice to see some innovation. Well, sort of. 
 
Interesting - the potential of this is huge. In addition to the location-aware/contextual aspects you pointed out, I could see this affecting (undermining?) the work done by Twine and others on enabling the "Internet of Things", as sensors can be added to the BT4.0 protocol. Definitely something to watch that has implication far beyond mobile payments. Think of the impact on energy, our relationship with everyday devices from our cars to our coffee makers. Very cool technology. 
 
+Scott GrantSmith sure, that's why there are NFC chips in a lot of phones right now. BLE (with it's low bandwidth compared to Bluetooth Classic) is still overkill (bandwidth and power reqs) for those areas.
 
An excellent boon for the service industry can be seen immediately. 
 
I can't wait to see how Apple tries to make this proprietary and lose more marketshare.  
 
So, what is their plan for two years from now when the batteries start dying?  I see that as the biggest challenge for longevity.
 
+Robert Scoble Android 4.3 finally standardized the Bluetooth stack across the board including profiles for Low Energy. Not too many devices are running the latest OS just yet, but things should be smooth sailing regardless of manufacturer moving forward in regards to Bluetooth 4.0 accessories. http://www.android.com/whatsnew/
 
Very interesting concept and I am looking forward to seeing what grows out of this. I agree with +ovidiu roatis though. If it has the ability to sense a device from a long distance could it be hacked at a long distance? This could be the use case that keeps NFC relevant and exemplifies +Sebastian Mauer point of different use cases. One thing I like about NFC is that it has a shorter range is is there for at least a little hard to hack directly. 

I am very excited about the possibilities of this though, just not that Apple part:)
 
I agree with +Sebastian Mauer , the close proximity required for NFC offers additional physical security.
Hopefully the Bluetooth can solve the security concerns.
Does LEB require pairing like traditional Bluetooth?
 
Sounds cool. Hope Android supports it.
 
NFC stickers on bus stops to activate call to rtd to get schedules, on packaging to launch manuals links, on school bags to activate silent mode, mark attendance, id card, smart visiting card.......and many more. But I do see an use case for both..... Oh but wait a minute. Didn't Bluetooth started as wifi alternative for connected devices for smart homes......
Andy L
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At this point, I'm behind anything that gets mobile payments going. It has been painfully slow. I share your enthusiasm.
 
+Robert Scoble Also, speaking of NFC. I've tried to use Google Wallet to pay every chance I can. In the odd rarity that I find a place which supports it, there's a 1 in 10 chance that the payment actually works. From what I'm hearing, the Google Wallet team is working on a complete revamp with an entirely new approach. I wonder if it they will stick with NFC or do something along the lines of Square Wallet.
 
iBeacons is one of the least talked about features of iOS 7 that could have one of the biggest impacts. I'm curious to see if Apple is as aggressive with this as +Robert Scoble thinks they will be during the iPhone announcement. I hope so. Even if the fingerprint reader is announced in the iPhone 5S I wouldn't expect any type of payment system implemented until next year. Baby steps.
 
One major point: Bluetooth is RIDICULOUSLY insecure, and it would require ditching backwards compatibility with all current and previous versions of bluetooth to fix. I would never trust Bluetooth with any sort of secure transmission (financial or private data)
Technologically, I think Bluetooth has a much brighter future if the consortium decides to take security seriously.
 
Hi Robert, I had a lot of hope for NFC, but the only places in the USA where I saw it was SXSW and CES 2013... both times promoted by Samsung.   I like the Low-Energy Bluetooth sensors idea. Looking forward to testing them!
 
I see lots of people saying what I was gonna say. NFC will remain precisely because of its "limitations".
 
+Robert Scoble I am hopeful that your enthusiasm pays off on September 10th, because I enjoy innovation wherever it comes from. And you probably have sources indicating this is Apple's next move. However, I will continue to approach Apple events with no expectations. Too many times everybody holds their breath for Apple, and we only get something thinner and lighter.
 
Little known side-fact: Guess who co-authored Google's new BLE capable Bluetooth Stack (Bluedroid)...yep, it's Broadcom.
 
OK...  mini "cell" towers or WAPs using Bluetooth.   Another item for privacy nuts to go crazy over.   So now if I don't want to be tracked I have to shut it off, which will present of problem for my ear piece.   Will I have the ability to connect to two different BT accessories?  
 
Ummm... Ble is already in the iPhone 5 ( and maybe the 4) as well as several other android phones, so I don't see how any mfg ends up in the limelight over something that already exists..... 
 
+Robert Scoble if it works as well as you say I really hope Android picks it up, as it sounds great. People are lazy. We don't want to have to tap our phones to stuff if it can do it automatically. 
 
No BLE... look for 3D infrared sensors for touch less gesture control ... Can't say more
 
Is that what Disney is using? I'm pretty sure it's just active RFID. Their bands last two years and are actually smaller than what's pictured.
 
Contextual Location is definitely the next frontier. Any device that knows who and where you are, and can provide context around what you want, when and why, will win through.

A great read, +Robert Scoble. 
 
Another thing coming soon 60GHz WiFi
 
+Robert Scoble The only reason that I can see for Tim Cook to not make a big deal about this at the upcoming event would be because it is more an infrastructure play than a sizzling feature. It will become sizzling when there is a sufficient quantity of this out in the real world. That won't be something that is suddenly revealed the following day (unless Broadcom has been keeping the rollout under wraps). It will likely take a couple of years to reveal how it will be used (which would, incidentally, be enough time for Android devices to catch a ride on this).
 
+Robert Scoble My main concern with it is that it is trivial to
A) Spoof either of the devices (The Glass or the Bar's bluetooth beacon) and play a sort of automated phishing attack where a malicious party can pretend to be the bar, and still charge you. Or the malicious party could pretend to be you or any other guest at the hotel and order a bunch of expensive beverages. While that is more of just a dumb prank, it can still cause issues because with current bluetooth tech, it is impossible to really verify who the signal is coming from and who it is being received by.
B) Listen in on all communications in an area, and hope that a bad developer somewhere has the authentication happen between devices without a secure third system (such as your bank). While this isn't Bluetooth's fault, and it happens all the time with different internet attacks, it is still a serious concern which has an infinitesimally small chance of happening with NFC.

Just to reiterate what I said on the Facebook post: The Bluetooth SIG can not fix this in existing devices, and the only chance is by having a new protocol in future versions of Bluetooth that breaks (or impairs) backwards compatibility with any prior versions. I still think that this is for the better, as I see Bluetooth (or some other technology with the same vision but makes these better protocol implementations) as the future of interdevice communication.
 
Low energy bluetooth requires bluetooth always on.. Bluetooth always on results in 1 to 2 hours less battery life.. This is not an nfc killer any more than iPhones were a flash killer. (flash is still on a lot of sites and people still download Firefox beta to be able to view flash websites on their Android.. I think the iPhone has been out a few years now.. Wouldn't flash be dead completely if that were even remotely true)

Yes apple will present it that way.. Perhaps people will buy into the myth but reality is.. This is not better..

And the next or any apple product with a usb didn't kill the floppy.. Evolution of technology did.. It's like saying that sata killed ide.. No.. Sata is the new protocol.. Floppies had a limited shelf life from the. 1.44mb...

The only thing apple and the iPhone ever killed was common sense in paying a reasonable amount for your tech.. Thanks to Apple people think paying more equals getting more... That is the only thing Steve Jobs did.. And you can't blame him for that.. He could convince anyone to pay a premium for a block of wood.. Good sales guy.. Smart guy..But that's where it stops

Come on +Robert Scoble ...You are usually more accurate with technology 
 
Great post +Robert Scoble . It will be interesting to see how apple handles this one. Security and privacy are always a concern, but the advantages and convenience may outweigh any of those concerns. 
 
They must have improved something if it really runs on a coin battery for 2 years. The Fitbit Flex uses BLE, is a sensor and it's battery hardly lasts a week.
 
+Robert Scoble are you saying the entire global contactless payment card industry, which has already standardized at 13.56 MHz where NFC is, will be moving to BLE?
 
+Robert Scoble I'm not talking about battery life on the devices.. I'm talking about battery life on the phone..

You may leave bluetooth always on but most people don't and they shouldn't if they value battery life on their phone...

Please don't tell me that you haven't realized how bluetooth affects the battery life of your phone... I've done extensive testing on every aspect of the battery life on my phone.. And bluetooth is a significant factor...
Plus you say its a few dollars for each ble device in large scale.. Do you know how cheap nfc is at large scale and yet no one has decided it's worth spending the very low cost involved to get the benefits.. All inventory can be tagged with nfc for instant inventory for cents per nfc.. Had anyone done it.. No.. But you think they will be willing to spend dollars instead of cents?


 
Interesting, very interesting. Apple only likes it their way though. So how will they handle the standardization of this across all platforms? 
 
+Robert Scoble  could you point me to an article that can help me get my head around why Apple has the best distribution network? I'm trying to understand what you mean by that... I know they have the best brand and a great app store but Sony's SRS which efficiently manages sales, inventory, procurement, distribution and manufacturing requirement planning processes etc etc is significantly more advanced (efficient). What do you mean by distribution network (marketing)?

Also NFC (PayPass, PayWave etc) is primarily a bank solution for transactions and just because NFC has other possible applications on mobile that is not its primary function. To cause a major shift here one would need a significant bank or financial institution to get on-board. A working GPS/wifi indoor maps location solution would be much easier to scale than this bluetooth concept.
 
+Robert Scoble  I likely missed something but why does Apple care if the world adopts NFC or an alternative technology? Is there a strategic reason they didn't adopt NFC? Is there more money in it for them with an alternative?
 
iBeacon is literally genius. I've been thinking about these for a while; this blows NFC out of the park and is a far better way to get devices to recognize locales than the current way of rubbing two NFC-enabled devices together. Thanks for the preview Robert, this is awesome.
 
Well, you're nuts if you use nfc or this tech for payments. Nfc hacks aren't more prevalent only because few people actually use nfc. There are pockets but the Wallet / whatever the phone carrier version is war stymied the tech. 
 
+Robert Scoble  For what it's worth NFC already enables BlueTooth Functionality "Simply enter the MAC-address and the PIN-code of the device you want a mobile to connect to and Bob is your uncle"  http://www.identivenfc.com/en/nfc-uses   IMHO advancements in  system on chip "SoC" connections means these two technologies will and should exist side buy side at nearly no cost to consumers. 
 
I'm skeptical. There are tons of NFC payment terminals. They are not all of the sudden going to be obsolete and go away. Also, this isn't an Apple only world...sure I see iPhones all the time, but this is no good if everyone cannot participate. There needs to be a standard that everyone can and will adhere to or this will fail.

I agree NFC is not ideal, but its in a lot of places now.
 
It's a good idea, but get Apple involved and it deteriorates into a hype again, without having anything to do with Apple innovating really.
Besides the fact that Apple did not kill Flash at all, it's a alive and kicking (sadly) for the given use cases for this tech there are already a lot of solutions. I can open and start my car without using my keys. I can drive with 30mph under a tollgate sensor that recognizes my car from 10 feet above by a little transponder.
Etc...
NFC transponder will always be 1/10th to 1/100th of the price of a bluetooth device. That is why it evolved so quickly and BT didn't. As active beacons it might have a purpose but still rather moot if not coupled with organizing logic.
Imo. it is a choice by Apple to again disrupt standards and slow down progress.
 
+Robert Scoble the Apple product is superior... or to be more specific the iOS but the flagship marketing store experience has now been duplicated by Sony, Samsung and many other brands and industries including the high-end whitegoods brands such as Miele etc as a lot of brands now desire to move 10% of stock via direct sales... but Apple's superior marketing advantages is no longer exclusive to apple is my view and if they are better it would be marginal from an Australian experience perspective. Thanks for clarifying the "best distribution" statement for I wasn't sure how broad the reference was. Have a wonderful day.
 
+Robert Scoble, my privacy I know is about non existent.  I am simply stating that the "groups" will be all over this.  On the bit about newer technology, that is interesting to "hear" that it isn't a connection.  Look forward to where this goes.  Thank you for the response
 
This is awesome...but not new. I remember experimenting with this concept back in 2004 !!! That was pre-smartphone for us :D Basically user-tracking. Then MIT labs created something pretty much the same..though they didn't use phones, they created their own bt devices. I suppose at that time cellphones weren't THAT ubiquitous ...atleast not for students :D. I'm a bit surprised it's taken THIS long for it to become a commercial reality! holy jeez the world is behind! :-o
 
I often agree with your view +Robert Scoble , but this time I think your use case (Ritz and ordering beer, etc) is 15 years too early. Based on the premise that most ordinary consumers are techno-phobes, they simply won't trust it or know about it to use it at the first place.
 
+Robert Scoble Is ibeacon hardware or software? If hardware, does it exist in the latest iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch?
 
Android fragmented??? Huh? Maybe the telecom vendors and their slow push of the latest android release but I dont see that slowing down things for Google... it sounds very fanboy-like and less cool tech review-like from this readers eyes... I like it when you keep it neutral ;)
 
Robert for interaction with things that "don't move", there is already a lot you can do with a connected smartphone and a well tagged map.  The cost s significantly lower.  For things that move, yes this can somewhat help.
THat said, I do think that apple could push this in a big way.
 
BLE needs seamless pairing, NFC can enable that... they are great complementors. no?
 
Broadcomm First learn how to make Good BT stack for android windows and mac ! and then start innovation !@Broadcomm You are a FAILURE
 
An interesting and potential concept, but putting the bullet on NFC? I highly doubt that. This tech, when release won't replace NFC. Rather, it'll probably just act as a trademark for iDevices as they can't use NFC due to legal reasons, probably.. I can see both NFC and BLE existing harmoniously, either with no gun to their heads. 
 
Hey +Robert Scoble  consider this .. I went looking at the Broadcom tech in Iphone 5 and thought about logical tech upgrade paths, what is Broadcom offering to Apple.

Then had a look at Broadcom releases in the last 12 months, did some googling and found this below:. makes a good point right?

credit > http://trungvo.wordpress.com/

1.  iPhone 5 using BCM4334  Wifi + Bluetooth.
2. Dec 2012, Broadcom BCM43341 NFC combo chip (BCM43341 is BCM4334 + NFC chip). It’s no brainer for Apple to put the new chip in since it has the same size.
3.  NFC chip requires NFC stack, it’s significant software change. Thus, iOS 7.

Reference:

- Broadcom BCM43341 NFC combo chip:

http://www.broadcom.com/press/release.php?id=s726226
http://www.broadcom.com/products/NFC/NFC-Solutions/BCM43341

- Broadcom BCM4334 in iPhone 5:

http://theiphonewiki.com/wiki/BCM4334

- iPhone 6 & iOS 7 rumor:

http://www.techradar.com/us/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/iphone-6-and-ios-7-show-up-in-developer-logs-1122074

and this guy who did the heavy lifting here first.
http://trungvo.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/broadcom-bcm43341-nfc-combo-chip-iphone-5s-6/

sooooo.. they either ditch Broadcom in Sep or they use their available tech roadmap. Looks like fm radio on this as well, wonder if that gets utilized?

NFC September? will be watching from Aus!
 
NFC is pretty massive outside the US. I think it's kinda silly to pretend Apple could even get a foothold with an exclusive payment technology in some place like Japan that is completely flooded with NFC users. The US, sure. Apple still has a decent if rapidly declining market share here. It might catch on with Apple's userbase. Or it might be like Siri where most users completely ignore it.
 
+Robert Scoble can you write one post where your bias doesn't show? Please?

"...bullet in the head of NFC..."
"...I am told Android 4.3 is behind iOS 7 on this..."
"...Android is so fragmented...the credit goes to Apple..."

Really?!

Nothing wrong with your Apple love affair, they make great devices. But when you write things like this it really hurts your credibility.
 
NFC is perfectly able to die on it's own. There's no need for a killer.

There's some value to these things, but when we have databases that allow recognition of EVERYTHING then convoluted barcodes, added chips and changes of human nature won't be needed. 

We'll just look at something and say "get me that" and our devices will figure out what we mean from the context of the moment
 
+Rob Mallicoat The statistics don't lie. Android 4.3 (which is needed for a unified BLE experience) isn't even on the radar of the most recent Dashboard numbers. 

https://developer.android.com/about/dashboards/index.html

Maybe Apple releases iOS7 before those numbers shift significantly, maybe not. We'll see once Google releases the August stats. One interesting tidbit I'd like to see from the Android dev team is to incorporate BLE into the existing geofencing API along with GPS, cell, and Wi-Fi location providers. I was saddened to hear that this wasn't announced concurrently with BLE support. Maybe they'll issue a quick 4.3.1 to address this? 
 
+Robert Scoble How accurate/granular is BLE location tracking, anyway? Can it differentiate between two (or more) BLE tags sitting inches from each other? Conversations like this make it seem like that's unlikely. 

http://stackoverflow.com/questions/15687332/bluetooth-le-rssi-for-proximity-detection-ios

If that's the case, I'd say that NFC still has a use case for hyperlocal identifiers. And did you really say that you wanted to revert to optical codes for that purpose? Talk about backwards. If you want to make the experience as painless as possible, you can't rely on optical. Imagine you have a dense array of QR codes. Do you really want to force the user to hover their device in front of the code, wait for the autofocus to do its thing, and then pray the user is steady enough to snap the image. You can't just let the device pick up the first code it sees, because it may very well be the wrong one. 
 
+Robert Scoble I might be misunderstanding something, but if Bluetooth 4.0 is a software and hardware update, won't any iPhone below the 5 not be able to support it?
 
Android can easily use these BLE features plus NFC. The main issue I see in BLE is security, remember those days when all the virus to java phones come from bluetooth that all of us switch it off? The usage like walking to a bar can be easily misused (advertisements like in Minority Report) and will overwhelm the users that they will just switch this feature off. 
The typical use case of NFC is those that needs physical touch which to me , is like personal handshake. You can communicate completely with speech but handshake adds another personal intimate value.
 
The contextual context adds prime to the BLE making it eventually a must have.
 
I connect my S4, Note 8 and Nexus 4 to my Fitbit every few hours via BLE. Must be a great new innovation, mr. claqueur has been set up upon. 
 
@Mike: This is Jakub, co-founder of Estimote.com. The accuracy depends on the frequency radio emmits, so you could reduce noise- but in general you could go down to inches!

With BLE beacons you could do all the technologies like NFC, RFID, QR codes were trying to solve and it's fast, responsive, accurate, cheap and easy to implement.
 
+Jakub Krzych And its spamming the radio spectrum... to be more specific, its spamming the 2.4 GHz spectrum.

I see not that much overlap in the use cases of NFC/QR-codes and BLE... replacing NFC payment solutions with BLE sounds doubtful, that is definitely a situation where I do not WANT a range of a few meters.
 
BLE isn't a NFC killer as much as NFC wasn't a barcode killer. It's all about the costs involved ... and well, sometimes one needs a solution that doesn't need power ...
 
I see the 2 as totally different technologies with totally different purposes.  You may end up with a similar outcome such as payment being made, but you can't beat NFC when you need to embed a tag in a product that may move between warehouses for years (if not a slow moving product, then the skid the product is shipped on and reused).

Optical recognition isn't going to detect packages INSIDE a container  or facing away from the scanner and NFC tags can be pennies.  The shopping cart of the future that you pass your cart through the register and get a total without having to pass an old-school and buggy 2-D barcode across a laser scanner won't happen when you put a $3 tag on a $.50 can of beans, and those jeans can easily be more than 2 years old by the time they pass by the register.
 
+Robert Scoble That really wasn't what I was aiming for. I was asking how accurately Bluetooth can track the user in 3D space based on RSSI alone.
 
This weekend I was involved in some location-based gaming in the Chicago area #ingress    #cassandra   and even a low penetration of of BLE used for geolocation assist would have made a huge difference in both the gaming and the performance of apps like navigation where GPS and Wifi together clearly aren't enough.  A unique ID that puts me within 100m of where I really am is much better than being 2 blocks off.
 
+Mike Trieu +Robert Scoble Some of my work with Bluetooth 2.1 EDR from a little over 2 years ago was tracking any bluetooth device that was on (not just those in discovery mode) with 1 meter accuracy with one tracking hub (which was just a router with USB bluetooth dongle running openWRT). That was roughly 75 meters away and indoors. Compare that to the 10-30 meter accuracy of GPS.

The only reason this worked without having to pair to the device or even having the device in discovery mode is due to one of the many security holes in the bluetooth protocol.
 
If they can achieve the same functionality as NFC, fine. Android will adapt, and it'll adapt fast. Status quo is I can pay with my Nexus 4, you can't with your iPhone. As far as fragmentation, certainly not every iPhone in existence supports Bluetooth 4.0?
 
+Thomas Sohmers Only one node? You weren't doing some kind of triangulation? Or, by "security holes" were you hijacking other devices to aid in triangulation?
 
I dont believe schoble, seems he's now into marketing  for the biggest pay check.  NFC will be the method of choice for payment systems because of its very short range, longer range is a security risk, new chips are a pain and needing power writes this thing off instantly. When they invent ZERO POWER Bluetooth then try your marketing nonsense again schoble.  Bluetooth will never be trustworthy with anyones cash.
 
+Robert Scoble the bluetooth announcement may just be some kind of iWatch accessory for the iPhone. If it has anything to do with payment I hope it is open enough for others to implement in case it is actually something useful ... Apple isn't the biggest fish in the pond anymore and NFC is supported by everyone except Apple. 
 
NFC payments is driven by NFC enabled credit and debit cards which can use Paywave and Paypass merchant terminals.   Like the implementation of chip and pin, this is not consumer driven, but driven by banks and credit card companies.  

Installing NFC chips on phones means that it might be possible to use your phone as a debit or credit card (assuming a long list of dependencies are satisfied).    The use of NFC enabled phones for making NFC payments has been relatively insignificant to date, and I suspect will eventually be abandoned.   BLE is not likely to be of much value in this regard.

BLE might be able to compete with RFID when it comes to tracking "stuff", but even that remains to be seen (and has very little to do with your phone).
 
Pfft.  Bluetooth.  Of course!!  This is so overlooked, it's ridiculous.  All because of "security" issues.  When I first learned of Bluetooth, I used to plan out how I was going to build out my own PAN.  It's time to revisit my ideas.
 
NFC use has grown 300 percent in a year. Every current high end smartphone includes NFC. In some places like Australia or Japan, 30 percent of all transaction under 100 dollars are done with NFC. Just because something hasn't caught on in the US doesn't mean it doesn't matter. In fact, that's a pretty myopic perspective. There's a whole world out there.
 
Apple is busy copying out of Nintendo's playbook, building muti colored devices to do anything else.
Legga L
 
BT4 mobile payments without the need to touch anything or reach into your pocket?
Blue tooth or NFC, you still have to get your phone out and initiate the payment. Otherwise what, shops will charge you once you approach them? Or accept your consent telepathically? :)
 
Believe it or not nfc is pretty huge here in the midwest. We have them in our gas stations and grocery stores all over. I don't know if we are just ahead on tech for once, or if people don't understand the little paypass stand above the credit card machine is an nfc reciever?
 
If the technology is as well conceived as the phrase "put a bullet in its head," NFC has nothing to worry about.
 
Like that broadcom guy said NFC is still great for pairing up devices
 
But that same coil in the ATM card could so easily power up the BLE chip in the ATM card. Everything is better with Bluetooth.
 
I'm just not very excited for this. Apple should just get over themselves and adopt the NFC standard. The work is done. It works fine. This childish crap from Apple gets old. Why does Apple always have to be the strange kid that does things differently for attention. 
 
flash was never killed in fact i still use it every time i watch you tube.. you might be taking about flash in mobile device..in PC there is still no substitute for flash... not even html5 common its been 3 years already... html5 is still crap.
 
+Major Bee I just wish people could be more creative when they pretend Steve Jobs did something he didn't do. I mean if you are going to just make something up, throw some dragons or zombies in there. Oh, or a flying horse or a lightsaber. 
 
3 points:

1.  Another huge use for iBeacons is indoor localization in hospitals, factories, retail stores, etc.  These are solid enterprise use cases with big ROI.

2. By the way, Google Glass really needs indoor localization in hospitals!

3. Apple is also working on ways to harvest the wireless energy in the air (random radio waves) to recharge, so potentially iBeacons could last forever with no battery replace.  That's speculative but my genius RF friends claim is doable.
 
Sounds a lot like NFC tags but why not?
 
Remember when Apple killed X? 2 Xs, actually. Thunderbolt is still trying to make its way.
 
Remember when Apple freed the slaves? Remember when Apple put a man on the moon?
Remember when Apple cured cancer?
Remember when Apple won the war for independance?
Remember when Apple blew up that asteroid heading for earth?
Remember when Apple played Batman?
Remember when Apple had an original idea?
 
+Robert Scoble I replied to you about iBeacon awhile back when you were asking for things that were awesome from #WWDC2013.

https://plus.google.com/101680788439856677061/posts/XETmAVmw7Ef

Being well versed in both Android and iOS location developer API capabilities, there is nothing in Android quite like iBeacon...and in fact, Android just got Geofences which has been around in iOS for awhile now (iOS 5).

If you are a member of Apple developer, or you have a friend who is I think you would LOVE the developer session on iBeacons in WWDC...with respect to your love for context...you should really check it out!  When I watched it I couldn't stop jotting down all the potential possibilities.

 FYI - Bluetooth LE has been around since the iPhone4S

Best,
 
Ha. Apple can "deliver a common experience" as long as you got the $$$
 
While in Canada earlier this year, I saw a news report that the law had been signed that all card swipe machines at all points of sale were to be replaced by 2014... With paypass (nfc) contactless card readers.

If an entire country is switching to nfc as the payment standard, I don't see bt4 replacing it any time soon. 
 
This should work great with Google glass...not so much a phone. Do I have to constantly be picking up my phone or looking at my smartwatch.?
 
Which also makes me wonder why on earth Google Glass only works with a phone and not with a computer.. ( or maybe it does and I'm the one who is missing something and not Google.)
 
+Robert Scoble Why not? Why not be able to control my home theater pc? Why not let me preform searches from the kitchen .. and show them on a computer on my home network of choice.. OK Glass show recipes for brownies.
Ok glass.... show results on Kitchen display.

Seems like its senseless to limit what it can connect to. Is all I am saying.
Key word limit.
 
So will I be bombarded with messages that I have no interest in? Hopefully they find a way to filter out the things you don't want....
 
This shows a pretty surprising lack of understanding of the technology, I would suggest looking into bluetooth hacking before you put much stock in it, the low proximity of NFC alone (and no, LEB isn't short enough proximity) makes it better.

Though I suppose this will fall under "casualty of progress" for you. ;)
 
what have you in your hand please tell me about it very much
 
Love that Apple is looking into another more viable, serious alternative to NFC. Consistently they aren't first with anything, but when they come with it, they really deliver a clean user experience, thus pushing users deeper within their ecosystem. Thanks for sharing, Robert. Looking forward to what Sept. 10th brings to us Apple geeks.
 
It's not a.k.a "Bluetooth 4.0" - many make that mistake.  "Bluetooth 4.0" branded devices don't have to support BLE as that's optional under that namesake. The Bluetooth 4.0 spec covers both classic Bluetooth and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy).  

What you wanted to say is that It's a.k.a "Bluetooth Smart".   And to clarify further, "Bluetooth Smart Ready" supports both (as in phones) and "Bluetooth  Smart" supports just BLE (as in sensor devices).
 
+Robert Scoble Hey again. September 10th came and passed. Apple didn't say much about BLE. Can you talk about that revolutionary thing or do you have some kinda NDA to adhere to?
Thanks for the info.
 
I have to admit +Robert Scoble Im more than a little curious why we didnt hear anything on the 10th.
THis really does seem like something to look forward to.
 
Why does my PC have a USB port and not one of those proprietary Iphone jacks!! Darn that's annoying!  

Why does my Iphone have to use WiFi at all anyway? Can't Apple just invent their own wireless technology and sell me an Apple router?
God that would be so much better.

This looks like a lot of sizzle and not a lot of steak. Too many problems to list and most have been mentioned.
 
Hey, I remember when this didn't happen. 
 
I think Apple are going to use NFC in their next device
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