Apple patent explores wireless media device applications | iLounge News

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Apple patent explores wireless media device applications

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An Apple patent application published this week suggests the company is working on multiple wireless applications for its personal media devices. The patent describes a method for the wireless notification and downloading of new podcasts, and multiple instances of location or site-based wireless applications. Site-based applications would be handled by local short-range wireless protocols, such as Wi-Fi, and would provide location-specific information and capabilities. The filing covers both wireless applications and dock-based information transfers, and covers a broad swath of possible uses.

“For example, if the merchant is a restaurant, the merchant may provide a menu to the personal media device and the user may place an order on his or her media device by selecting items on the menu,” the patent states. Likewise, a movie theater could list currently running films and times, and allow the user to purchase tickets with the device, or an attraction such as a zoo or museum could offer up relevant content — like information on a particular artist or animal — when the user enters a certain area. Another example covers larger tourist attractions: “Various location-based content that may be provided in connection with a tourist attraction (e.g., a museum or zoo). Local content may include, for example, audio podcasts, maps, event schedule, advertisements, general information, graphics (e.g., animal pictures), and any other suitable information. Because tourist attractions can be relatively large (e.g., Disney World) and children often frequent such places, parents may be concerned of a child’s whereabouts if not directly within their sight. Assuming the parent and child both have a media device, and the tourist attraction or other large area (e.g., city) has a distributed network, a location program may be executed to determine the location of the child’s media device.” As with all patent filings, this does not necessarily represent any future product releases from Apple, but offers evidence of the company’s research in this area.

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Comments

1

This could be huge!

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on May 15, 2008 at 1:50 PM (CDT)

2

Galley…I thought similarly a while ago about RFID chips on products and screens on shopping carts, though the tech could work similarly for an iPhone or other MID:

Think of having the iPhone at home: whenever you run out of an item, you swing the upc next to the phone camera before tossing the box, and then it automatically adds that item (and other options, perhaps that you’ve pre-selected) to your virtual shopping list (which would tell me automatically, whenever i walk into a store, whether the items I want are sold at that store).

Then, as you’re walking down the aisle, your iPhone/MID tells you which items on your list are available, whether there are sales on competing items (while providing you quickly with the unit price of each item in every iteration available, so you can compare). When you get down to the last few items, it can also tell you which aisle you can go down (mini-scale GPS) to find the last items.

It will also keep track of your spending habits, and allow you to opt in to ‘sale alerts’ for items you like, but are only really concerned about getting when they’re on sale. Like brie? Well, now you get alerted whenever brie is on sale when you go shopping.

Your phone will also let you know how expensive an item is compared to its year-long history, so you can see if this ‘sale’ price is really a sale at all, or if it was marked-up to be marked down.

And all of this is just the shopping possibilities.  Developers with an API, feel free to develop my idea…maybe give me some props or a few bucks if you make millions. :)

Posted by OnlyShawn on May 15, 2008 at 2:29 PM (CDT)

3

sorry, that’s, “developers with an SDK”...got my acronyms mixed up.

Posted by OnlyShawn on May 15, 2008 at 2:30 PM (CDT)

4

Getting podcasts wirelessly would be great! İ get 3-4 to listern too a day and not having to plug in everytime would make my life easier. Heck, even if the new nanos woudl let you know when you get mail woudl be pretty good. Even if you have to find a pc to response…(

Posted by Sid32 on May 16, 2008 at 1:29 AM (CDT)

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