Apple Wins Patents for iPod Illumination System, Macroscalar Processor Architecture & Airport Extreme
Apple Files Tablet Computer Patent for Handwriting & Forms

Apple Working on Next Gen Millimeter-Wave Communication Applications


Next Gen Wireless Icon

A new wireless technology called Millimeter-Wave is currently being developed by several industry groups including WiGig and TGad.  One of the primary goals of this developing standard is to deliver wireless communications that are ten times faster than today's solutions based on 802.11n. Apple has always delivered products with the very latest wireless technologies available and two recent 2009 patents have surfaced to show us once again that Apple is preparing yet a new round of next generation products that will capitalize on the coming wireless standards.  According to a recent report published by Nikkei Electronics Asia, the way to bring costs down for this technology is to build it right into mobile phones. This is an advantage that Apple has with their iPhone. More interestingly however, is that this same report states that the coming millimeter-wave communications revolution won't happen until there's a so-called "killer" application for this technology to make it popular. According to one of Nikkei Electronic Asia's sources within a firm manufacturing millimeter-wave communication components, the killer app is going to be Kiosk Downloading.  




Industry players are envisioning a time when kiosk downloading will allow consumers to download a two hour movie wirelessly in just a few seconds. For standard DVD based movies, that will translate to 15 seconds.  According to HowStuffWorks, a 25 GB Blu-ray disc will take less than a minute to download using WiGig.  So it's understandable why the industry wants to usher in this needed technology and killer app (click on image below to enlarge).



The good news for Macites is that Apple has already filed a patent for an iTunes Kiosk as far back as November 2007 – even though we only had access to this patent since May of this year. Within this patent, we're told that Apple will use a "limited RF range connection" – yet aren't told which technology Apple will employ.  The answer to that mystery was answered last week in yet another Apple patent concerning a new short-range wireless technology that would be backed by a new application called Grab & Go.


The latter patent in affect describes the technology in ways that are similar to that of an electronic handshake of sorts. Two friends with iPods will be able to exchange tunes or data by simply choosing the file to transfer and then tapping the two devices together. You'll see an example of that in the video overview below. Furthermore, Apple's patent clearly points to Sony's TransferJet by name as being one of the technologies that they're considering on implementing. This technology is clearly based on millimeter-wave communication technology.


At the same time, Apple is also working on Near Field Communications in concert with millimeter-wave communications. This twist will be utilized on Apple's iPhone for the purposes of allowing users the ability to make quick and convenient payment for services and purchases made at Apple's iTunes Kiosk.


The Three Main Reasons for using NFC  


1 - Card emulation: the NFC device behaves exactly like a contactless card and can be used in transport fare payment systems such as Mifare or Calypso as well as contactless payment such as Visa Wave, MasterCard PayPass, JCB J-speedy or American Express ExpressPay.


2 - Reader mode: the NFC device is active and reads a passive NFC tag; for example reading and storing a web address or coupon from a poster for interactive advertising.


3 - Peer-to-peer (P2P) mode: two NFC devices communicate with each other exchanging information.


For more information on the commercial side of NFC technology, you could check out the video on Gemalto's site.


NFC Technology Overview Video


The Bottom Line


At the end of the day, we know that Apple has been working on an iTunes Kiosk project for years and it's already being deemed the killer app to make millimeter-wave technology take off. We also know that Apple has one of the hottest smartphones, if not the smartphone on the market today which is going to help bring costs down for Apple to implement this technology. Furthermore, Apple owns the hottest music machine on the planet via their iTunes franchise which will give Apple the advantage over their wannabe competitors in this coming field of multi-media kiosks. 


Additionally, Apple is also working on some very cool new iapplications and easier ways of transferring contact information between business contacts and colleagues, amongst friends or perhaps that special someone you just met at a concert. Apple has all of the components lined up to take advantage of this next wave of communications like no other company.



And by the way, I don't think that anyone who has seen Apple's NFC patent missed the fact that Apple has included a gamepad working with a future iteration of Apple TV and/or an iMac in their top examples of how millimeter-wave or NFC technology will work. That day is coming my friends – count on it!  



Thanks for remembering our soldiers on this day.

Today is a very important day, particularly when at war. We need to remember the ones who fight for our freedoms.

With identity theft on the rise, the idea shown in the video about paying for a restaurant bill without handing a waitress or waiter your credit card is the way to go.

The handiness of just using it for a vending machine without carrying change is good too. At first I was hesitant on these types of implementations but after seeing the gemalto video you linked to, I see that it's quite secure if not more so than a credit card.

The comments to this entry are closed.