Apple patent reveals iPhone's NFC ambitions

Companies seemingly patent anything and everything, so it's always best to take these listings with your recommended daily allowance of salt, but Apple looks to have filed for a patent relating to pairing controllers using NFC capabilities on an iPhone. It doesn't mean that Apple is working on a game controller, but does suggest that the company is keeping all its gaming options open, entertaining the idea of pairing multiple devices using NFC and even turning the iPhone into a digital controller.

That could lead to some interesting applications for Apple, such as displaying a digital overlay of traditional controls on an iPhone while you play a game on an Apple TV or Mac. Currently games can be mirrored out to an Apple TV with an iPhone or iPad, but this patent may hint at additional controllers being used on iOS devices thanks to NFC pairing.

Gaming isn't the sole focus on the patent, however, with the Apple looking to control all sorts of technology once devices have been paired using NFC. Rather than limit the technology to mobile payments, the company looks to turn iOS devices into controllers that could interact with cameras or various appliances throughout the home. It's been reported several times that the next iPhone will feature NFC capabilities, and with more and more Android OEMs including it in their handsets, it seems like the next logical step for Apple.

[via IGN]