Apple's iBeacon wireless technology, already used by payment companies like LevelUp and shopkick, may soon be incorporated into Apple-branded hardware, according to a report depicting a diagram Apple submitted to the FCC for certification.
The Bluetooth Low Energy system can detect nearby smartphones to enable payments and other services. Apple is seeking certification for an iBeacon product that could possibly be used either at the company's Apple stores or in its HomeKit system for controlling home electronics through a mobile device, The Unofficial Apple Weblog reports.
Apple introduced iBeacon with the iOS7 operating system currently used by its iPhone and iPad devices. The technology has a range of up to 50 meters, considerably larger than the range of Near Field Communication technology used with other mobile payment systems (Apple has never made an NFC-capable iPhone).
Other companies, such as eBay's PayPal, have their own payment Beacons based on the same Bluetooth Low Energy technology.