iPhone 5 to use NFC to Function as Mac User Account Key?

iPhone 5 NFC

iPhone 5 NFC

Cult of Mac have picked up on an interesting tidbit about a possible second use for the NFC capabilities expected to be included in the iPhone 5. And that would be an ability to function as a virtual key to your Mac user account, so that you can hijack any Mac and make it behave just like your Mac at home. Presumably with the owners permission, of course!

It’s expected that the communications field that a Near Field Communications (NFC) chip, rumored to be included in the iPhone 5 due out next year, will be used to authenticate financial and electronic ticket transactions in stores, at airports and so forth. But this second use is something that could really turn the way we use computers on its head.

Basically the idea is that when your iPhone is in range of any Mac it will be able to provide data related to your Address Book, Keychains, Email Accounts, Apps, and even your desktop background and layout to that Mac so that you can use it as if you were on your own Macintosh at home. When the iPhone is taken away the Mac will then forget all about the iPhone that “hijacked” it, presumably (hopefully) also forget all of your personal data too, and then revert to whatever settings it had before.

It is very likely that this feature will be closely tied to MobileMe. Making that service all the more important to Apple’s customers. If you are anything like me you probably only keep MobileMe around because you are too lazy to find another way to sync years of browser data, passwords you no longer remember, and in the vain hope that you might get 5 minutes of fame one day tracking down an iPhone thief!

NFC “mobile computing” could well end up being the must have feature of 2011!Whatever the truth of this rumor is, it is clear that NFC and using your iPhone as a virtual key for authenticating your life is high on Apple’s agenda for next year.

Does this kind of feature make you worry about security? Or resign you to renewing MobileMe for yet another year? Have your say in the comments…

[via Cult of Mac]

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Stephen NorthcottiPhone 5 to use NFC to Function as Mac User Account Key?