Proof, if you ever wanted it, that Apple is mos’ def’ getting into the idea of RFID technology for its devices. The firm has lodged a patent called Concert Ticket + that will enable it to get into the gig market, selling gig tickets over iTunes. As well as gigs, consumers will be able to buy tickets for sporting events, theme parks, and even wedding invitations–more about that in a bit–and even use their iPhones to get through the turnstiles. (Backup battery power: now a must.) Kinda blows this out of the water, doesn’t it?
The patent also shows a management system which lets the user’s mobile device to sync with their other devices, such as a desktop or laptop computer–and, although it’s not mentioned, the iPad. Apple has added a whole load of extra functions to Concert Ticket + that go way beyond paying for, and entering, an event. There’s the potential to offer live CDs to the concertgoers, discounts on products, and the ability to pay for merchandise and drinks directly via their phones, access to song lyrics and buying the artist’s songs during the gig, and even pre-paid, discounted parking. Hopefully Apple will supply a free lighter app to use during the slow numbers.
As for the wedding market, well, imagine being able to access tux-hire stores, maps to the event, the program, buy the music featured during the party, as well as the wedding video, or photos. If you thought there was no way Apple could monetize someone’s nuptials, you’re wrong.
All of this is proof of just how Cupertino envisages the future–and it’s totally iPhone and iTunes-dominated. In a decade, are we going to be able to buy just about everything quick and disposable via Apple’s media portal. It’s a whole lot more simple to use than PayPal, for example (although the only way you can currently receive money from iTunes is through its gift certificate system–in 50 years’ time, perhaps our employers will be paying our salaries via iTunes? Possibly, when all the banks have migrated there. Don’t forget, Apple has got $50 billion in cash–and it’s thinking very hard how to spend it.