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Apple Explores Delivering Location-based Content to Mobile Users

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Apr 12, 2001
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Mockups by Phil Lu

A much publicized patent application published in December 2007 revealed that Apple had explored allowing handheld owners (such as the iPhone) to place orders from local stores. The system would, for example, allow customers to order a drink with the press of a button on their iPhone which would then notify them when their order was ready.

A new patent application today expands that concept to different types of local content, including events, movies, concerts and could even present you with general information and reviews about local restaurants. This location-based content could also include ordering food as detailed in the previous patent application, but also movie tickets and music purchasing.

Beyond this, it appears local content could be customized, with businesses publishing content themselves to be distributed to passers by. A particularly useful example would be at an Airport where flight schedules, maps, weather, and city information could be offered. Presumably, those with a properly equipped iPhones (or other devices) would be able to access this content simply by connecting to their local Wifi network.

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arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,647
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I think the Airport example is the most useful. But depending on if such a system could be standardized, it would be like having your own little kiosk device with you for all relevant information about your location. It would presumably mean Wifi would have to be more prevalent in local stores.

arn
 
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Mr Maui

macrumors 65816
Jul 19, 2002
1,152
0
Just as long as I don't get instant spam everytime I walk passed a Quizno's this is fine

It learns your habits as you go ... ala "Click" (with Adam Sandler) ... and will start automatically ordering sandwiches at Quiznos, coffee at Starbucks, movies at Blockbuster, etc. ... even when you DON'T want it to. Perhaps it even reminds the ladies to call their mom EVERY DAY if they forget. :D

As for spam, it will start sending you customized notifications based upon your internet and purchasing habits. After, all, it goes pretty much everywhere you do.
 
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Aeolius

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2002
904
26
Part of the Starbucks "experience" is the interaction and banter with the cashier and barista, as you order your drink. I don't see the automated ordering mock-up as an advantage, in this case. Now, if I could place my McDonald's order from my iPhone, without having to endure the drive-thru nightmare, it would be a plus.
 
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Ade-iMac-177

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2007
137
0
This app looks so cool!!!! - i would definitely go to starbucks to use it and get free wi-fi!
 
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stagi

macrumors 65816
Feb 18, 2006
1,125
0
I think this would be great, so many uses for something like this. Walking through the mall and not having to look for a map would be helpful, the airport example would be really cool.
 
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Abstract

macrumors Penryn
Dec 27, 2002
24,561
402
Location Location Location
I don't really see how this new patent is any different from their old one. From my understanding of the 1st patent, it really should have covered everything in the 2nd patent, including movie tickets for nearby cinemas, local restaurant info, etc.

I guess this legally covers more ground, just in case things weren't stated explicitly enough, and someone tries to do this sort of thing with a mobile phone later in the future.


However, I see this sort of idea as being "obvious", and in the future, I can see people looking back and thinking, "Well this was another one of those obvious patents just handed out to the first company that bothered to apply for it." It's not a great idea. It's more of a natural progression of technology and its application.

Part of the Starbucks "experience" is the interaction and banter with the cashier and barista, as you order your drink.

I never saw Starbucks as being that homely, but OK.

My local coffee guy has a coffee stall outdoors. Best coffee on my campus, which isn't saying much.
 
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boss1

macrumors 6502a
Jan 8, 2007
978
36
I agree with the evolution of this type of technology. Interactive mobile devices that communicate your personal choices, preferences, and financial transaction etc to the places you physically visit.

Fine. another side of me however tells me that this is a dual edge blade. It takes away from part of the social experience of going out. To some degree I could understand some people would rather not deal with real people and customer service. On the other hand for many this is an integral part of the social experience.


Now i'm not crying that the sky is falling nor am i anti tech. Im just saying. We no longer need to talk to people if you text your day away and now you no longer talk to people you meet if they just hand you your bags when you walk in and out of the stores etc.

We're slowly turning into our digital selves and are become nothing more than a username and text that follows lol.

It gets worst. In the next decade when the majority frequent such devices, then people who actually talk to people become the minority which means: Talking to people becomes out dated and if you approach the desk in any venue you get looked at by the public as either outdated, someone who doesn't have what everyone else has, or socially desperate. Sad future incoming imo.
 
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gkarris

macrumors G3
Dec 31, 2004
8,299
1,053
"No escape from Reality...”
I think the Airport example is the most useful. But depending on if such a system could be standardized, it would be like having your own little kiosk device with you for all relevant information about your location. It would presumably mean Wifi would have to be more prevalent in local stores.

arn

A project for Boeing or the FAA?

The local airport I fly out of now has free WiFi. It would neat to launch the app and before starting up the plane getting the ATIS and NOTAMs in addition to weather radar and traffic.

These iPhones are getting cooler by the minute...
 
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mr_matalino

macrumors 6502a
Oct 14, 2005
548
71
My children will someday ask me in the future, "Daddy, why did people stand in line to order".

This will be the future of purchasing.
 
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Aeolius

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2002
904
26
I never saw Starbucks as being that homely, but OK.

The other weekend, a store named "10,000 Villages" had a weekend festival. Starbucks is in the same plaza. As I was unloading my kids, Lauren, the barista, brought my coffee out to my car for me. Top that. ;)
 
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grappler

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2006
157
0
If anyone is interested in a mobile service that lets you connect with people near you (home, work or otherwise), or people that are (or have been) at the same place as you, I've got some extra invitations for BrightKite. They have a good Safari iPhone app already, and an native one for when that becomes possible.

If you're interested let me know. They're in private-invite beta right now.
 
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Aeolius

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2002
904
26
How about some games that let iPhone users on the same WiFi network play in an interactive environment? I could see Trivia, WoW, and GarageBand being interesting uses, here.
 
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notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,055
162
Canada, eh?
This is a neat counterpoint to the Microsoft surface/table demo they showed some months ago. Remember they demo'd being able to order things by typing things onto the table? Here's an even better approach, because the device is much cheaper and personalized to what you want. One device for many possible vendors, versus the table approach where each vendor would have to have its own.

I see this as being great for the mass-market stuff, like Starbucks, McDonald's, etc. There's something to be said for face to face interaction, though. I have a group of friends that eat breakfast almost every Saturday morning at the same local diner. The waitress knows us all by name, knows all of our order preferences by heart, so we either say "the usual, please", or sometimes nothing at all -- she'll just put the order in. There's something nice about having a "usual" :)
 
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MikeDTyke

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2005
661
0
London
Rather than the irritating image of popup adverts on your phone which is what i think people are invisaging. I prefer to think of it as geotagged webpages, so that when you are in the area, there's either a 'local' app or browser mode that shows websites for companies, services and perhaps local offers.

Taking that to the airport example, rather than opening google and doing a search for the airport's website, you'd hit the local button and the airport's webpage would be top of the list.

For companies wanting to offer services like the starbucks ordering system, they'd just implement a webapp suited to the iphone screen. Your GPS location would determine which starbucks it needs communicate with over 3G or if they offer wifi as starbucks does then it might be cool for the iphone to auto connect to the local wifi network to provide the best experience when accessing the service. ie. along with the location search listing of local websites it also details the local wifi network associated with each site.

M.
 
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deputy_doofy

macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2002
1,402
270
This is cool. Every place that sets up immediately becomes an online store when you're near its Wi-Fi signal. I wouldn't mind walking through a mall and checking stuff out via the iPhone (and avoiding the ever-present-nagging sales people).
 
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wstohner

macrumors member
Apr 20, 2004
36
0
NY
Part of the Starbucks "experience" is the interaction and banter with the cashier and barista, as you order your drink. I don't see the automated ordering mock-up as an advantage, in this case. Now, if I could place my McDonald's order from my iPhone, without having to endure the drive-thru nightmare, it would be a plus.

That banter is my least favorite part of my starbucks experience. I'm not overpaying for my coffee so that I have to pretend like I care what kind of day someone is having. I love this idea!
 
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Aeolius

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2002
904
26
That banter is my least favorite part of my starbucks experience. I'm not overpaying for my coffee so that I have to pretend like I care what kind of day someone is having. I love this idea!

Then get your coffee at McDonald's, where they truly don't give a darn. ;)
 
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krye

macrumors 68000
Aug 21, 2007
1,606
1
USA
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Aeolius

macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2002
904
26
Speaking of not caring what kind of day someone is having, here's another useful pop-up idea.

Whenever you see someone parked illegally in the handicap-designated zone (including the striped loading zone), you should have an icon for instantly notifying the local police and writing a citizen's report to get the offending idiot ticketed. I would use that app a dozen times a day.
 
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