Once in a while, there are Apple patents that are released to the public which lets users take a glimpse of the features and technologies that the company have been working on. This particular patent is submitted in 2009 which illustrates a location based social network that lets a user locate and search his proximity area for another user that might share the same interest. Using your iPhone you can either find a friend, your next or a business partner.
Data are gathered from the phones, and according to the filing that comes with the patent:
Social networks are a well known phenomenon, and various electronic systems to support social networking are known. Growing a social network can mean that a person needs to discover like-minded or compatible people who have similar interests or experiences to him or her. Identifying like-minded people, however, often requires a substantial amount of and time and effort because identifying new persons with common interests for friendships is difficult. For example, when two strangers meet, it may take a long and awkward conversation to discover their common interests or experiences.
So unlike the traditional way of meeting someone, there is no more need for awkward conversations. Because knowing that the other person shares the same interest as you are, that is enough of an icebreaker that may lead to an interesting conversation. The data will be mined from questionnaires and information that's contained in the iPhone itself.
Common interests and experiences of two or more users located close to each other can be identified from content, including automatically created usage data of the mobile devices. Usage data of a mobile device can be created based on activities performed on the mobile device (e.g., songs downloaded), a trajectory of the mobile device (e.g., places traveled), or other public data available from the mobile device (e.g., pictures shared).
For privacy concerns, this particular feature is only optional. According to the supporting document, data will be compared such as common bookmarks, contacts, games played and the likes. There is even a proposed facial recognition feature that can be implemented if the technology is available.
Keep in mind that this is merely a patent filing and there is no guarantee that Apple will be implementing this sort of feature for their devices. Apple just likes to patent ideas so that they can call it their own.
With the popularity of location-based services and social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, this sort of feature is actually quite plausible. And it is possible that it is going to be implemented with existing features such as Facetime and iMessage. We will just have to wait and see.Contact Us for News Tips, Corrections and Feedback