Does this new Microsoft patent hold the key to the mythical Surface Phone?

Microsoft has filed a patent for a new standard of Near Field Communication (NFC) that aims to make it harder for eavesdroppers to tap into data exchanges – and there’s every chance it could debut on the elusive Surface Phone.

Secure Near Field Communication (SNFC) is near-identical to NFC, according to the documentation, with the main exception being that it generates an access code to ensure that all data transmitted can only be decoded by the intended recipient’s device.

Something doesn’t quite add up, however.

Online blog LetsGoDigital was the first to uncover the patent – which it claims was filed on January 27, 2017 – yet the copy of the documentation it’s provided has had all references to the date removed, so best take the information with a considerable grain of salt.

Image: LetsGoDigital

Microsoft is said to have been working on the Surface Phone for a while now. The latest rumours, dating back to 2017, suggest that it will be available in three variants – all of which will run a refreshed build of Windows designed specifically for the handset.

Related: Galaxy S9

Think of the Surface Phone as one latest attempt to make Windows Phone a success. But in order to appeal to the mass market, it will need to be equipped with all the features Android and iOS already tout, including a mobile payment processor (think: Apple Pay).

We weren’t able to uncover any evidence proposing that SNFC will debut on the rumoured Surface Phone, so it’s possible it’s been developed for a different project, like a refreshed Surface Pro. Oh – and there’s also no guarantee it will ever hit the market.

Only time will tell.

Do you think Secure Near Field Communication (SNFC) was developed specifically for the much-rumoured Surface Phone? Be sure to let us know over on Facebook or Twitter @TrustedReviews.