Blog Post

Apple Patent Foreshadows Broadcast Services On iPhone

Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has applied for a patent that “generally relates to receiving broadcasts and in particular to systems and methods for communicating and storing information associated with data within a broadcast”, reports MacNN. The patent is conceptually similar to Visual Radio in that it sends data (referred to as “tags” in the application) about a broadcast stream to a device, or a periphery device. It also takes signals from other sensors and devices to generate data tags, such as from a GPS. “Any tag discussed herein may be used to generate other types of information that can be presented to the user. For example, marketing and advertising information can be generated based on data tags. As another example, user profile and personalized information (e.g., personalized websites, etc.) can be generated using data tags.” The patent refers to “broadcast as being any real-time distribution of content over any delivery medium, where the receiver does not control when a broadcast begins or ends.

The patent (and I make no judgements as to whether it should or will get accepted) indicates that Apple either plans a broadcast service (over WiMAX) sometime soon, or plans a service that lets people tag content they hear on a broadcast and later buy it from the iTunes store. “Apple