On April 14, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published two patent applications from Apple that reveal the next chapters for both a new geo-location service system that uses WIMAX transmitters and a new EMI shielding process that is needed to support Apple's desire to create ever thinner mobile devices.
Maps, Indoor Location
Out of some forty Apple patent filings published yesterday, we see that Apple pushed through nine that were related to geo-location and the electronic compass technologies behind it. Apple is constantly improving the iPhone's magnometer and other related sensors to help us now and in the future. Apple introduces us to one application dedicated to improving our road trip experiences with information about facilities and attractions that are "just ahead" of us so that we won't miss a thing. Apple understands that the iPhone will be used on foot, in cars, on bikes and boats, and they're making sure that their geo-location services will work to our benefit. It began last week when we discovered that Apple was working on new interactive radio mapping functionality for the iPhone - and this week we see that their work is once again pushing the envelope. That's what The Crazy Ones do.
Within the sixteen patent applications that were published by the US Patent & Trademark Office for Apple Inc today, a single gem emerged. It's a very powerful new concept for a location based application service that is one of the most ingenious ideas that have surfaced on this subject in some time. The idea is simple. Deliver a location based service to information savvy iPhone users that wish to receive temporary retail and service-based applications. Imagine standing at the entrance of a restaurant and viewing their menu on your iPhone or entering a public library and being able to access their database. The minute you leave the library or the front of that restaurant, the app disappears so that you don't clog up your iPhone with hundreds of local business apps. I don't know if Apple will tackle this at their upcoming developer conference, but this is a phenomenal opportunity for hungry developers and/or Business Form companies looking for a new avenue for revenue. There are millions of non-geek business owners who are going to want in on this service so as to attract new tech savvy iPhone using clients. Snooze on this opportunity and you'll Lose.
An interesting Apple patent surfaced last week that had me take a second look. The patent generally relates to provisioning mobile devices with information and services pertaining to a location. While this patent confirms that location based technology could be used to send out ads to iPhone users, the fact is that this patent provides us with some interesting twists. A new architecture will offer differing databases relating to points-of-interest (think restaurants, night clubs, theaters, etc) and social networking via a shared-interest database - so that you and your friends could plan a night out by coordinating information. Another key focus of this patent relates to Apple's iPhone offering a very handy Transit System Interface covering busses, light rails, trolleys, cable cars, or other types of conveyance available for public use. The system would be able to send out timing alerts to users based on current public transit schedule information, current locations of public transit vehicles on one or more routes and so forth. The location-aware iPhone will use triangulation information via GPS signals. Whether for city transit or inner city parking, the service will double as a vehicle for Apple's new Quattro Wireless ad services