Despite a few erroneous reports this morning that Apple had filed a patent for a video games controller, the reality of Patent 20120188052 is much more interesting than that.
A huge 114 page document, Apple's filing of an application for a 'System and Method For Simplified Control of Electronic Devices' patent demonstrates Apple's renewed interest in Near Field Communication (NFC) by looking at what the positives of including an NFC or RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip in its products.
The patent then goes on to show a whole host of possible control methods, from controlling DVRs to home sprinkler systems through your device. However, the most interesting developments are the ones that focus purely on gaming.
Game on (and on and on)
Figure 44 shows an NFC-enable device communicating with a third-party NFC-enabled controller, which then enables the paired devices to control each other and the game itself.
The other example related to gaming is shown in Figure 52 connecting to a games console without the 'middle-man' of a controller. Once paired, the iOS device can interact directly with the console via NFC, RFID or through the use of a QR code.
While in theory the idea is an exciting one (you'd be able to select movies to watch on your DVR or console via your iPhone or iPad), it's worth noting that Apple has not been granted the patent; instead it has simply applied for it.
Add to that the fact that the interaction between your iOS device and 3rd-party devices would not only require a new NFC-enable iOS device as well as require the third-party manufacturer to include methods of interfacing via NFC, and it seems like there a lot of obstacles to overcome for Apple before the inter-connected future is a possibility.Joystiq / AppleInsider