At its surface, a recently uncovered Apple patent application describes a Motion Based Input Selection. But a closer look reveals that Apple wants the iPhone to become your life's omnitool.
Using near field communication—or RFID, which isn't in the current crop of iPhones—coupled with a cute, onscreen UI (like a combination lock), Apple's patent describes a future in which iPhone users open their front doors and even pay for their next iPhone with a 3-digit pin. Many have already dubbed it the "iKey."
I'm not sure that I could stand waiting at Walgreen's while the guy in front of me attempted to wield the iPhone's accelerometers with enough dexterity to purchase some antacid and the latest edition of Sport Fishing. But given that a good chunk of the world is already benefiting from phone-based RFID shopping, there's little question that the basic premise is a good one. [Patent (PDF) and Telegraph and ElectricPig via Slashdot]