Apple Explores Wireless Sharing

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A recent Apple patent application entitled "Media Data Exchange, Transfer, or Delivery for Portable Electronic Devices" is generating some buzz.

    The patent application was filed on September 1, 2006 and addresses methods for mobile devices to wirelessly discover others in the local vicinity and transmit data from one another. Examples of data shared include video, music, games, photos, playlists, and slideshows. They do make special note of restricted sharing for certain media that may have "limited-use rights".

    Electronista notes that the method could be used for something more useful than just one-to-one transfers:
    Some comparisons are being made to Microsoft's Zune product which allows Zune-to-Zune wireless sharing, though Zune's launch was approximately 2 months following the filing of this patent application. As well, historically, Apple has explored similar auto-discovery techniques (over RF at the time) with early prototypes of the Apple Newton (pre-1993).

    Article Link
  2. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Did we have some other wireless patents on this show up earlier this year? I believe they were self-setup networks though. Devices would search for others and pair up to share.
  3. p0intblank macrumors 68030

    Sep 20, 2005
    New Jersey
    I would love to be able to share my music and photos on my iPhone, just like how you can on the Mac. Make it password protected and I'm sold. :)
  4. reubs macrumors 68000

    Jun 22, 2006
    Could be interesting to see. Would be a lot easier than e mail in some instances, I'm sure. I just don't know if I want some people to have full access to everything on my HDD...
  5. whooleytoo macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    Oh, bugger. :p This sounds similar to an idea I worked on some time back. (Simply, a phone/PDA peer to peer software in which you set up search/favourites criteria, and as you move about it automatically detects peers and downloads any content it finds relevant to your preferences.)

    Had a catchy product name & URL registered and all.. But it was a security & battery-life nightmare, so I abandoned it.

    It'll be interesting to see how Apple handles these issues, if this ends up in a shipping product.
  6. Raid macrumors 68020


    Feb 18, 2003
    I was thinking the same thing. I'm sure Apple is going to do some inventive stuff with this, but they are going to have to maintain the devices security and enhance the transfer speed... otherwise it would seem just like bluetooth technology with a few extra bells and whistles.

    For now I'll just wait and see how long it will take to see this rumour embedded in the iPhone v2 enhancments. ;)
  7. FJ218700 macrumors 68000


    Mar 8, 2007
    Blue Dot, Red State
    All we need now is the wireless charging to come about and I may buy my first iPod
  8. killerrobot macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2007
    That's exactly what I was thinking. It amazing how many times I've brought this up in other threads (it would be cool for the next iPod), and everyone bashed it, saying that "wireless" was unnecessary. I wonder what they'll say now if Apple does it.:rolleyes:
  9. JGowan macrumors 68000


    Jan 29, 2003
    Mineola TX
  10. longofest Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    EXACTLY what I was thinking... Squirting is coming to iPod :)
  11. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2003
    Anyway to tie this into the announcement about the easy printing setup? Sharing from your iPhone to your printer perhaps? Print those pesky e-mails or directions?
  12. princealfie macrumors 68030


    Mar 7, 2006
    Salt Lake City UT
    I hate the restrictions on the Zune 3 x 3 rule.
    Gimme unlimited use and I'm on board.
  13. Black Belt macrumors 6502a

    Black Belt

    Jun 15, 2007
    "Squirting", or in Apple's case "Spitting Apple Seeds" is nice but you could do some very cool stuff with this like having your iPod in your car get new podcasts and playlists by just pulling into your garage.
  14. LillieDesigns macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Only thing I don't like is that Steve mocked Zune users awhile back saying this method of sharing was stupid and a "real man (gadget guy...I dunno) would go over to a girl and share headphones.

    Now there's hype about using the technology...all I really want is over the air iTunes downloads.
  15. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    It depends on how they implement it.
  16. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3


    Feb 7, 2002
    what is the wireless technology that the zune uses to share data between devices? How speedy is it, etc.?
  17. killerrobot macrumors 68020


    Jun 7, 2007
    I was pushing for "music on the go" (I know the zune can't do it) -- everyone called me an Apple hater.:)
  18. macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2007
    non-AV sharing

    Perhaps this too mundane and practical, but I would really like to see user initiated sharing of address book cards (vcards), urls, and public certificates (like RSA, etc). This way you could share your electronic business card with someone or a public certificate to bootstrap a secure trust relationship: all face-to-face.

    This could be a big deal, where you could even go into a bank in person; open an account; and leave with a public cert from the bank (later synced to your desktop via iTunes) that would completely obsolete all current phishing schemes.

    The other great thing would be to transfer funds between two people. I hear in Finland (and probably other places too), people already use their cell-phone to make small purchases (vending machines and such). Perhaps we don't have the infrastructure here in the U.S. yet, but even to just connect it in with paypal and completely automate the payment and payment confirmation process between two iPhones or iPods would be very nice.
  19. fangiotophia macrumors newbie


    Jan 16, 2006
    Fort Worth, Texas
    What all could they send?

    I have a feeling that this is going to be used in a very different way than people expect. I have been hearing buzz about universities possibly using the iPhone in the classroom. All rumors at the moment, but I can see the advantage of the professor coming in with his/her presentation on their iPhone and sharing it to all of the students. Giving out your contact information would be a cinch and if done properly. What better way for a student to submit their homework than by simply walking in the room?

    I think this has some amazing possibilities for the future. All Apple has to do is put their imagination to work (which shouldn't be hard considering they do it every day).

  20. bravedeer macrumors member

    Nov 14, 2006
    I disagree...

    The problem with that implementation is the same as with the Zune's. Basically most people don't want to be sent random songs from random people.

    What we need is a reverse implementation where you can browse people's music , listen to sample and pick what you want to download.

    The Zune implementation is like going to iTunes and having it send you songs instead of you choosing what you want.

  21. defeated macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2007
    what will the Steve Jobs' face look like when Bill Gates accuse him of photocopying?
  22. johnee macrumors 6502a


    You're exactly right. The concept of auto-detection is hardly new and in itself is not patentable. However specific implementations which could save power are patentable (assuming they are novel and not used/written about in the public domain.)

    The only real barrier i see to this being a product is power consumption.
    If apple doesn't have a way to reduce the power used, then this is not possible.
  23. macintel4me macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2006
    Peer-to-peer networking on the next level...distributed wirelessly...and legal. Nice! :cool:
  24. peters438 macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2007
    I remember when Bluetooth first started showing up on phones and PDA's. Me and a friend spent an hour sending each other wireless business cards. Hardly a killer app.

    I'm not sure I'd want to waste my iPod or iPhone's battery so everyone in Starbucks can listen to my music. Steve's right--real men share headphones.

    Of course, the real benefit of technology like this is easy transfer of content you've created--like photos, videos, slideshows.

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