A patent recently filed by Apple looks to innovate new ways of data sharing by using a devices on-board cameras. Moving on from the QR code reader age, the patent also alludes to invisible inks and cross-device verification using just the two cameras. If installed on iPhones in the future, this hardware / software combination could see your iPhone camera being used for purchases, security unlocking and more general data sharing.
While Google are coming thick and fast with NFC, this near field communication of sorts hasn't been suggested to work outside the Apple ecosystem just yet.
Gauging by the diagram above, an iPhone would log into a MacBook utilising a process termed a "New Digital Handshake". This potentially results in a pairing between both devices using device specific keys found on each Apple product. As you can see in the diagram below, in terms of the iPhone, there are a number of places these keys might be, either on the Apple insignia or across an invisible ink strip of characters.
It will be interesting to see how Apple develop this technology beyond infrared, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi Direct and NFC. Will it appear on the upcoming iPhone, act as a new way to shop and share and what are the security implications surrounding this technology? It's early days yet, but chances are, we haven't heard the last of Apple's Digital Handshake.