Short range wireless networks to enhance capabilities of iPhone
You can already place calls, browse the net or watch video clips with your iPhone, but if Apple’s patents back in November 2006 are any indication, the company has even more impressive plans for their smartphone.
The big idea is using short range wireless routers (like the ones in the airports) that would interact with the iPhone and connect it to the central server. This would allow the happy owner to use it for a number of things, like placing orders on a local restaurant, for example.
The iPhone server of the said restaurant could read the data on your phone – such as your personal preferences for food – and send you back a customized menu, provide a calorie calculation, filter out meals you might be allergic to, and things like that. According to Apple, wireless routers could also be replaced with wired docking stations, which in the restaurant example could be placed on all tables.
Another examples include a personal health monitor (nothing too complicated, things like counting steps or watching your pulse), or an automated tour guide. Depending on what wireless router you use to connect to the server, your location could be determined, and if you are, for example, looking at some pieces of art at a museum, more information about them could be uploaded to your phone.
The possibilities are endless, really, but to see this happen merchants would need to install expensive hardware to cater for a smaller part of their customers.