Apple’s FaceTime service is currently just a method of two-way personal communication, but it could become much more. A patent granted to Apple shows how FaceTime would work as a collaborative productivity tool, complete with data and app sharing.
AppleInsider noted the new patent grant on Tuesday, with images such as this one showing how screens could be shared over FaceTime on an Apple iPad while the app maintains a two-way video conversation.
This particular example also shows that FaceTime users could control what application data is shared between two parties; on the right you can see shared calendar information.
The patent describes how data controls would work — determing what can be shared based on user controls or the type of connection. ranging from specifying exactly what can be shared based on user controls or by the type of connection. Sharing a screen or an app over Wi-Fi might be preferable to sharing it over an LTE connection, for example.
Apple’s FaceTime service is only available on iOS and OS X devices, of course, so don’t expect to share your Windows Desktop or apps any time soon using FaceTime, even if Apple does implement what’s described in the patent. Besides, there are plenty of third-party apps that offer that functionality now on non-Apple devices.