Apple Seeks Patent For Mobile Social Networking - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Software // Operating Systems
News
3/22/2010
09:54 AM
50%
50%

Apple Seeks Patent For Mobile Social Networking

The patent application describes a service called iGroups that would enable mobile device users to share geographic location data.

Apple is seeking a patent for technology that would make it possible for users of the iPhone or other mobile devices to form an ad hoc social network to communicate and share information during tradeshows, concerts, rallies or other event.

Apple filed the patent application Thursday with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Web site Patently Apple reported.

The patent application describes a service called iGroups that would enable people to share geographic location data in order to connect using an iPhone or other mobile device. People who agree to join the network would be able to broadcast information in real-time through text and instant messaging and also share files, such as pictures or video.

The service would be available to people with devices other than the iPhone. Although the service is not mentioned by name, Apple's MobileMe service could be used to add mobile phones without GPS to a group.

Members' calendars, address books, and other application could be used to provide additional information and services to the ad-hoc network, the patent application says. Apple also notes that a group could be targeted for location-based service from advertisers.

"Concert attendees in a group can be sent coupons to purchase music or other items related to the concert or invited to join a fan club of the performer, etc.," the application says.

A patent application does not always lead to a new product or service. However, if Apple were to launch iGroups, it would not be the first company to offer applications to connect people in social events. Companies offering similar services today include Loopt and FourSquare.

Apple has a strict policy of not discussing upcoming products. But there are indicators that an iGroups service is possible. For example, Apple purchased last year a mapping company Placebase.

In addition, Apple has been unfriendly to rival Google's attempts to leverage the iPhone for location-based services. Apple last year reportedly refused to let Google offer Latitude, a Google Maps location-sharing service, as a native iPhone application downloaded from the iTunes App Store. As a result, Google released Latitude as a Web application that requires users to access the service using iPhone's Safari Web browser.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll