Apple Hardware Links TechScience Future

Using RFID to configure your wireless network

Apple has gotten a bright idea (and patented it right away too) : put a Radio Frequency ID (RFID) chip in your networking device, and bring them in close proximity to each other.

They’ll recognise each other, and can then configure the rest of the wireless network setup themselves : an extract from the MacRumors site :

The system describes using RFID tags in networking equipment that would communicate basic configuration settings when the devices got close to one another. The devices would then be able to establish a rudimentary network based on that information and be able to automatically finish setting up a more complex and secure wireless network.

Personally, I think it’s a damn cool idea, one of those “slap-your-forehead and wonder why nobody thought of this before” ideas…

I can already see it before me : you’ve bought a new laptop, you come home and unbox it, and bring it close to your router during the network setup. They see it each other and immediately set themselves up using the correct protocols and keys.

Still, two things need to be cleared up : one, RFID chips in their current state are notoriously unsecure, so Apple will need to secure them in one way or another, and two, there has to be a mechanism to agree on the router that you want to add a new client (a button to press ?).

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