iTravel: Apple, the biggest aggregator of travel & event tickets in the world?

So let’s roll on to the next level – what if iPhone had an NFC chip in it – what if you bought an airline fare and checked in using your iPhone. Then you drive to the airport, car-park gate opens because it knows you’re there – airport security knows you’re there and the gate opens for the boarding area. You board. Your seat-back screen shows your media – teh movie you had half watched – because it knows you’re there. you buy drinks and duty free, and your card is charged by simply entering a pin on your seat-back screen. You get off teh plane, welcome to Cannes, and the immigration gate opens. Back in the cockpict – the captain is reviewing the flight and remarks that he burned exactly the amount of fuel he predicted – didn;t I say, everyone on board shared their fitness data from their phones so he was able to only carry the required fuel as he knew your combined weight in advance – this simple reduction in take-off weight reduced the overall flight cost – you’ll get a voucher via MMS to yuor phone as a reward from the airline tomorrow.

The co-pilot picks up on the spikes in hear-rate over the Iberian peninsula – little bit of turbulence – but below the industry average according to last months ‘Global Customer Onboard Monitoring’ stats. Everyone’s had a good day. Bienvenue a La France. Seamless, less manual intervention, more secure, cost-efficient. Tech helps. The world prospers.

Thing of fiction? Certainly not. In July 2012, Apple were granted a patent for what’s dubbed iTravel – and it potentially sows the seed for much of what I’ve described. Filed on 2008 it illustrates the way hardware makers are planning to make their devices critical components to your daily life. For now though, Apple doesn’t have an NFC enables device – no doubt they will. But what they do have is more incredibly well thought through patents; patents that may become the evidence to fight future court-battles. Professor Upmanu Lall asked “Will the next war be fought over water?Probably, But the next technology war? It’s all about Intellectual Property. Apple and Samsung are keen to nail this one down. They both want to win. But if neither does, it probably means no-one else can either.

Apples iTravel patent is revealed in US Patent application number: 12/286353
Of particular interest at FreePatentsPnline entry is the list of US Patent References, from ‘Baggage check-in using short message service’to ‘Portable point of sale systems and methods‘.

External links & references

  1. US Patent Office website
  2. The iTravel patent @ Free Patents Online
  3. Wired: Christina Bonnington on how iTravel Threatens Android’s NFC Future
  4. en.wikipedia.org/Near_field_communication
  5. RedCert.com search: Apple, Samsung and patents


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