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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Apple has filed for a United States patent detailing a system for allowing a device to access and share a remote network with a second device using the low-power Bluetooth LE protocol, reports AppleInsider. The patent application was published today and credits Apple engineers Daniel Borges, Jason Giles, and Michael Larson as inventors.

apple_bluetooth_le_hotspot_1.jpg
Notably, the application mentions a first device acting as a hotspot and having short-range connectability with a second device, with the second device having access to remote networks. This would be very similar to the rumored interaction between Apple's upcoming iWatch and a second iOS device such as the iPhone, with the iWatch serving as an accessory and giving users easy at-a-glance access to common functions without having to take out larger devices.

The described technology would seem particularly apt for providing intermittent Internet access for the iWatch, allowing it to take advantage of low-power Bluetooth to only intermittently connect to the Internet using an iPhone as a hotspot rather than having to host its own cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity.
The proximity profile defines a proximity notification alert that the supporting device sends to the device to advertise its shared access service to the network for devices within range. In one embodiment, upon receiving the proximity notification alert the device joins the supporting device's shared access service and briefly connects to the network to receive push notifications or other messages, before disconnecting.
apple_bluetooth_le_hotspot_2.jpg
The patent also details how a low-power connection protocol such as Bluetooth could prove to be advantageous as the first device remains in a low-power background mode while connecting to a network with the ability to receive push notifications:
In one embodiment, the short-range connectability to the supporting device is provided over a low-power enabled connection protocol such as Bluetooth. In a typical embodiment, the device is able to maintain itself in a low-power background mode while joining the supporting device's shared access service and briefly connecting to the network. In this manner the device may perform such activities as establishing intermittent network presence for receiving push notifications and other messages or updates, or for engaging in other network-related activities while advantageously remaining in low power mode.
Apple has long been rumored to be working on the iWatch, which is expected to provide common functions along with additional biometric integration in addition to serving as an accessory to iOS devices. Apple CEO Tim Cook stated during the company's fourth quarter earnings call last month that Apple still plans to introduce new product categories in 2014, which is a likely timeframe for the release of the iWatch as previously indicated by multiple sources. A report last week also indicated that Apple was close to striking a deal with LG Display to provide OLED displays for the device.

Article Link: Apple Researching Low Power Bluetooth Hotspots for Devices Like the iWatch
 

syndalis

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2008
119
183
This thing has to be nicer than the galaxy gear.

Played with it at an AT&T store and it is such a joke.
 

Ries

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2007
2,275
2,749
They are patenting internet over bluetooth? How is that new?
 

syndalis

macrumors regular
Jan 23, 2008
119
183
They are patenting internet over bluetooth? How is that new?

no, they are patenting using a low powered protocol on a client device to negotiate a handshake that allows for use of internet services (and other device specific data feeds) from a host device as needed.

Internet over bluetooth has been a thing for a while. Having connection that doesn't drain the battery on either device is a bit more novel.
 

cmChimera

macrumors 601
Feb 12, 2010
4,077
2,994
They are patenting internet over bluetooth? How is that new?
And here's why people criticize patents so much. They don't understand a patent, and immediately jump to the idea that there's nothing new.
 

iHateLaggyStuff

macrumors member
Oct 30, 2013
30
0
Can't wait for Apple to revolutionize the smart watch business, just like they did with the iPhone, iPad and Macbook Air.
:apple:

Now make an iphone with better battery life ! :D
 

troop231

macrumors 603
Jan 20, 2010
5,753
482
Cool stuff. It would be cool if the 'iWatch' could communicate with and pay at a vending machine, or really any retail store.
 

Ries

macrumors 68020
Apr 21, 2007
2,275
2,749
no, they are patenting using a low powered protocol on a client device to negotiate a handshake that allows for use of internet services (and other device specific data feeds) from a host device as needed.

Internet over bluetooth has been a thing for a while. Having connection that doesn't drain the battery on either device is a bit more novel.

Its called bluetooth LE

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth_low_energy

http://www.gsm-modem.de/M2M/m2m-apps/casio-bluetooth-low-energy-watch/

Bluetooth Low Energy watch offers 2-years life on coin-cell battery

----------

And here's why people criticize patents so much. They don't understand a patent, and immediately jump to the idea that there's nothing new.

Well, tell me why this is not low power bluetooth internet sharing. Cause it reeks of this: http://www.gsm-modem.de/M2M/m2m-apps/casio-bluetooth-low-energy-watch/ but with the internet connection.
 

Ianthin

macrumors newbie
Sep 20, 2012
5
0
Man checks his watch while passing the iPad display at Walmart, sparks iWatch speculation.
 

macjunkie33

macrumors member
Jan 8, 2009
86
0
OH
Good move by Apple beta testing the M7 chip by integrating the chip into iPhone5s. They should have a wide range of data by the time the iWatch is released.
 

phillipduran

macrumors 65816
Apr 30, 2008
1,055
607
Hmmm. . .

What if they make the iWatch your cellular connection? You get a watch that provides cellular data and voice from whatever carrier you want, it then connects to all of your iDevices.

This would allow for 1 carrier data plan to service all of your idevices. You get a phone call, you see the number on your watch and then you can grab your iPhone from your pocket and answer the call. It uses the phone as a handset. If you want, you can answer on your ipad and talk over the speaker or you can go secret agent style and talk to your watch. Possibilities.
 

rshoff

macrumors newbie
Sep 6, 2012
16
0
low tech patents?

Wow, from the looks of it, patents are getting out of hand. Not blaming Apple here, they are simply following practices established by the entire industry.

But bottom line, all I see is that they are diagraming a conversation between devices over radio waves! We've been doing that since walkie-talkies!!

Am I missing the 'technical' aspect of this patent application? Please tell me I'm wrong and correct me.
 

piecloud

macrumors member
Nov 9, 2011
66
10
And here's why people criticize patents so much. They don't understand a patent, and immediately jump to the idea that there's nothing new.

Did you even read the patent? This is a natural evolution of network access over bt. Of course the methods will change a little bit, but there is nothing novel here. So if there is a Super LE bt tomorrow, will you say that network access over the new bt is so different and Apple has to file a patent?
 

AlphaHumanus

macrumors 6502a
Feb 12, 2012
514
85
These rumors are killing me. I just want an Apple smart watch darn it.

All I need is notification center, and siri. Whatever is taking them so long, better be mind-blowing.


Aww hell, I'll buy it regardless. lol
 

newagemac

macrumors 68020
Mar 31, 2010
2,091
23
no, they are patenting using a low powered protocol on a client device to negotiate a handshake that allows for use of internet services (and other device specific data feeds) from a host device as needed.

Internet over bluetooth has been a thing for a while. Having connection that doesn't drain the battery on either device is a bit more novel.

Furthermore, they are patenting one particular method that they invented to accomplish this. This is what the ignorant who cry over patents don't understand above all. Patents are for methods and processes you came up with to accomplish something. Other people can accomplish the exact same thing before you or after you but as long as you (and they) come up with a different method to accomplish it, then it is patentable.

And that in a nutshell is why the patent system works so well. Lots of different people can come up with lots of different methods to accomplish the same thing and patent it. They take their methods to market and one eventually proves to be the best way to do it. This results in more money for the inventor because the others have to use their own somewhat inferior methods for a while. Eventually the patent expires and anyone can use that particular method. This cycle benefits society and has been doing so for over a century.

But everyone wants to be the guy who profits the most from the "winning" patent design so that incentivizes companies to actually go look for methods to solve problems that have yet to be solved as well as invent new and better methods to solve problems that have already be solved. Otherwise known as R&D. And the cycle continues for the benefit of society.

It's not a coincidence as the number of patents filed has increased that there has been an increase in tech advances. Just look at the last decade. Patent filings, new methods, and tech advances have exploded. Tech progress has been phenomenal recently and consumers have benefited greatly.

As long as we don't allow patent leaches to profit off the work of the innovators, this should continue. The innovators certainly won't continue if they don't get protection from the patent leeches because if anyone can be successful by just leeching off the hard work of others, then the innovators won't stick their necks out to take those risks that benefit us.
 

goobot

macrumors 603
Jun 26, 2009
6,173
3,475
long island NY
Hmmm. . .

What if they make the iWatch your cellular connection? You get a watch that provides cellular data and voice from whatever carrier you want, it then connects to all of your iDevices.

This would allow for 1 carrier data plan to service all of your idevices. You get a phone call, you see the number on your watch and then you can grab your iPhone from your pocket and answer the call. It uses the phone as a handset. If you want, you can answer on your ipad and talk over the speaker or you can go secret agent style and talk to your watch. Possibilities.

Um, yea, you could just make a hotspot with your iphone which is the same exact thing but better since a phone should always have a connection over a watch if one looses its battery.
 

cmChimera

macrumors 601
Feb 12, 2010
4,077
2,994
Did you even read the patent? This is a natural evolution of network access over bt. Of course the methods will change a little bit, but there is nothing novel here. So if there is a Super LE bt tomorrow, will you say that network access over the new bt is so different and Apple has to file a patent?

You said it's the natural evolution, and then state it's nothing novel. Do you understand the contradiction you made?

----------

furthermore, they are patenting one particular method that they invented to accomplish this. This is what the ignorant who cry over patents don't understand above all. Patents are for methods and processes you came up with to accomplish something. Other people can accomplish the exact same thing before you or after you but as long as you (and they) come up with a different method to accomplish it, then it is patentable.

And that in a nutshell is why the patent system works so well. Lots of different people can come up with lots of different methods to accomplish the same thing and patent it. They take their methods to market and one eventually proves to be the best way to do it. This results in more money for the inventor because the others have to use their own somewhat inferior methods for a while. Eventually the patent expires and anyone can use that particular method.

But everyone wants to be the guy who profits from the patent so that incentivizes companies to actually go look for methods to solve problems that have yet to be solved as well as invent new and better methods to solve problems that have already be solved. Otherwise known as r&d.

It's not a coincidence as the number of patents filed has increased that there has been an increase in tech advances. Just look at the last decade. Patent filings, new methods, and tech advances have exploded. Tech progress has been phenomenal recently and consumers have benefited greatly.

As long as we don't allow patent leaches to profit off the work of the innovators, this should continue. The innovators certainly won't continue if they don't get protection from the patent leeches because if anyone can be successful by just leeching off the hard work of others, then the innovators won't stick their necks out to take those risks that benefit us.

This. Thank you.
 

69650

Suspended
Mar 23, 2006
3,367
1,877
England
Sounds more like a methodology based on current technologies rather than an actual invention. Is that patentable? The whole patent system is a mess and needs urgent reform.
 

TimeSquareDesi

macrumors 6502
Apr 25, 2013
443
253
I'm totes New Yorkian
I am all for innovation but as it is, i can barely get a full day's battery life on my iphone 5. i work around 12 hours a day and do NOT use bluetooth or wifi when im in the office!

so i think it's a very cool idea but i think battery life needs to be addressed first.
 

osx11

macrumors 6502a
Jan 16, 2011
825
0
I think the iWatch will also have TouchID and will have NFC.

This way you don't even have to take your phone out of your pocket to make a payment, and with the TouchID, it's so called "secure."

iWatch:
- Notifications
- NFC
- Touch ID

- IGZO Display
- M7 Processor
 

darkslide29

macrumors 68000
Oct 5, 2011
1,830
835
San Francisco, California
The language makes me a bit nervous..

"Enable personal hotspot".

I hope the phone companies don't interpret this as mobile share and charge $10/mo just to give it access to a data pool.
Or those on unlimited ATT cannot tether - they may be forced to give it up in order to share data with an iWatch?
 
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