NFC could be the key to what Verizon and Comcast are working on

It's still unclear what kinds of new services and technologies Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is cooking up with its cable partners, but it may involve Near Field Communications technology. Recent patent applications filed by Verizon and partner Comcast show how the companies are looking at using NFC to do everything from authenticating mobile devices for TV Everywhere content to pairing devices with Comcast's Xfinity Home security and automation service. For instance, in a patent application published Aug. 1, Verizon notes how it could use NFC to make it easier for subscribers to access pay TV content on smartphones and tablets by relying on NFC chips in set-tops. For more on where things could be headed, check out this FierceCable special report.

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