Remeber that “Now playing” service that you’ve been getting on your iPhone at Starbucks a while ago?
Well, it seems that Apple really liked it and decided that this thing might be worth it’s own patent, so Palm and Nokia won’t copy it.
The basic idea described in patent app is pretty simple. Place a local cache of iTunes media store server at a retail location, e.g. Starbucks cafe, and follow the music that is being played from that cache. Beam the associated info to the iPhones and Macbooks via local Wi-Fi network.
Additional icon with store logo will appear on the iPhone. And if the customer fancies the current song, he just taps on this icon and gets all the additional about the song and an option to buy it.
This can easily be tied in with various promotions, e.g. buy an additional coffee and get one song free, etc; and other things.
Simple, elegant, fun and pretty easy to implement. The question is, just how much of the original thinking went into this and would USPTO agree with Apple’s claims.
Afterall, things like Nokia’s indoor LBS can cover song downloads quite easily too.
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