(Pocket-lint) - Apple is due to unveil iOS 12 at its annual WWDC, which kicks off next Monday 4 June. One of the features now thought to be coming to the newest version of Apple's mobile operating system is expanded capabilities for the built-in NFC chip on the iPhone, which can then be used to do things such as unlock doors and pay for transit fares.
- Checking-in at the W with Apple Watch, is it the future for hotels?
- iOS 12: All the features we hope Apple will announce at WWDC 2018
- Best smartphones available to buy today
- Upcoming phones: The future smartphones coming soon
The news comes via The Information, which cites "people familiar with the matter" as saying the new feature, which "could pave the way for people to use iPhones for other security-sensitive interactions, from paying transit fares and opening car doors to verifying their identity in other ways", will be announced next month.
It's not an entirely new technology, as Starwood Hotels has offered the ability to unlock your hotel room using an iPhone or Apple Watch for several years - we even got to test it out at the W Hotel in London's Leicester Square - but Apple may now be making the feature available on a more global scale. Apple employees at the company's Cupertino headquarters also use iPhones to unlock doors, so it isn't something new Apple has suddenly thought of.
That means it will likely be ready to roll out to all iPhone owners worldwide in iOS 12, with developers having already been given chance to integrate the feature into their apps. Rather than just unlock hotel room doors, you will no doubt eventually be able to unlock your own front door if you forget your key, or your car.
You can already pay for transit fares in the UK, China, Japan and some cities in the US and Russia. But Apple has reportedly been working with Cubic, a company that makes transit cards such as London's Oyster Card, to bring greater functionality to the iPhone so it can be used on more transport networks worldwide.
We expect to hear all about the new features next week.