On July 31, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals new security control features for their future iWallet application. The new security system will work with an iPhone and Apple's iTunes Store on a Mac. The controls will allow parents to set boundaries for spending and track all purchases. Apple's patent also introduces us to the digital wallet processing engine. Last week a new rumor surfaced that discussed Apple's iWallet working with Visa's Digital Solutions sometime in the next year. Whether Apple's iWallet will make it to the iPhone 6 is unknown at this time.
Apple's Patent Background
With the growth of the popularity of consumer electronics, many consumers prefer to consolidate items of commerce into digital forms. However, current systems for making payments are insufficiently suited for integration with a digital experience using modern consumer electronic devices. Additionally, existing systems for transferring transactional instruments between users are lacking with respect digital integration, adoption, and convenience.
As electronic device usage grows among children, parents have a harder job of managing what their children have access to on those devices. Digital wallet applications allow users to manage their own tickets, passes and gift cards with one single interface. However, known methods of transferring those digital assets to children are lacking.
Additionally, there are many scenarios where a parent may want to send his kids to a movie or to shop at a particular store. However, simply providing children with cash and trusting they will use it as agreed upon is not always a good option. For example, the child might lose the money, have the money stolen from them, use the money for some other purpose that the parents do not approve of, etc. Consequently, there is a need for systems, computer-readable media, and methods for transferring digital assets to dependents and monitoring the dependent's activity with respect to the digital assets.
Apple Invents Parental Controls for an iWallet
Apple's invention relates to systems, methods, and non-transitory computer-readable storage media for transferring assets and monitoring spending activity of dependents.
Some embodiments of Apple's invention involve a digital wallet processing engine receiving a request from a parent to enable a Parent Mode and link the parent's digital wallet account with a dependent's digital wallet account in a network-based storage platform and to transfer assets to the dependent's account, monitor the dependent's account, and otherwise manage the dependent's account. The request can be forwarded to the dependent and upon receiving consent from the dependent, the digital wallet processing engine can link the dependent's account with the parent's account.
In some embodiments of the present invention, linking the dependent's account with the parent's account in the network-based storage platform involve creating a shared workspace in the network-based storage platform accessible by parent and the dependent. The parent can then transfer digital cards and digital assets to the shared workspace and the dependent can access the transferred assets while the parent maintains control.
Apple further notes that in some embodiments, the parent is given a management interface accessible through the parent's digital wallet account or a media distribution platform client application. The interface can include tools for managing the dependent's digital wallet account. Some embodiments of the present technology involve updating the interface in real time to reflect changes in the dependent's digital wallet account to allow the parent to track the dependent's activity.
And lastly, Apple notes that the invention also involves pushing notifications from the network-based storage platform to an electronic device of the parent and pushing notifications relating to the request from the network-based storage platform to an electronic device of the dependent
Beginning with Apple's patent FIG. 1 noted below, we're able to see exemplary application interfaces for carrying out transactions using digital cards in a digital wallet.
Apple's patent FIG. 2 noted below illustrates an exemplary system for tracking asset transfers.
In Apple's patent FIG. 3 noted below we're able to see two exemplary Graphical User Interfaces (GUIs) for enabling a Parent Mode that's designed to allow the transfer and management of assets in a digital wallet application. You'll note that Apple once again is illustrating that their future iWallet will work in segment with iTunes. A 2012 patent application of Apple's was granted last year had noted that Apple would use iTunes for monitoring iWallet activities and transactions.
Apple's patent FIG. 5 illustrates a method of a parent purchasing digital assets and transferring the digital assets to a dependent in the form of a digital card. Apple notes that in some embodiments, the digital card can include a barcode or QR code that can be scanned at the movie theatre. In some embodiments, the digital card can use the NFC capabilities of the user's electronic device to redeem assets.
Apple's patent FIG. 7 noted below illustrates an exemplary activity-tracking interface. It further illustrates a digital wallet application settings interface in a settings menu of a network-based storage platform. The digital wallet application settings interface includes a button which turns Parent Mode on and off.
In some embodiments, turning the Parent Mode on causes the device to display another intermediate interface (noted as #725 below) that allows a parent to add a new dependent or manage existing dependents. Selecting to manage an existing dependent can cause the device to display a dependent wallet interface #730 that lists all of the dependent's digital cards and other information such as card balance, train number, flight number, etc.
In some embodiments, selecting an individual card in a digital wallet interface (#733 above) causes the device to display a parent management interface (# 735 above) for a particular digital card in the digital wallet interface.
The parent management interface can display a button for adding value to the card, a button for removing assets or removing the entire card, a button for viewing card activity, and a button for placing restrictions on the card.
Viewing card activity can include viewing when, where, and how much of a card balance is being used by the dependent. In some embodiments, a map of card activity can be displayed. Examples of restrictions monetary amount restrictions, temporal restrictions, content rating restrictions, geographical restrictions, etc.
Apple's patent FIGS. 8 & 9 illustrates exemplary event notifications directed to a parent running a parent mode in a digital wallet application.
Apple credits Raghuveer Mallikarjunan and Wael Barakat as the inventors of this patent application which was originally filed in Q1 2013. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time. For more iWallet patent information, see our Archives.
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