Saturday, June 18, 2011

Apple tries to patent matchmaking app

By Rosa Golijan

Apple recently filed a patent application for an app which would in theory help you find new friends — or a hot date. Will our iPhones soon turn into matchmakers?a

FastCompany suggests that Apple has realized just how much information about your personality is contained within your iPhone — from shared photos to downloaded songs — and that this data could be used to pair people up:a

Apple imagines that this data could be automatically scanned, or curated by a user intending to portray a particular public image, and then used as a wireless "beacon" to generate an ad-hoc social network of similar-minded folk.a

So exactly how would Apple's matchmaking app work? Based on what we're able to gather from the patent application, it would use your current location as well as your public data — which could include downloaded songs, shared photos, places traveled, or more — to pair you up with seemingly compatible nearby individuals. The process sounds like it would be opt-in — meaning that you would specifically allow the app to share and seek out information — and strictly policed by Apple.a

Now of course this is all speculation and it may be a long time before we ever discover if we're hitting the nail on the head — if we ever discover it. After all, Apple is prone to filing a lot of patent applications to simply protect ideas — many of which never turn into actual products.a

Related stories:a

Don't use these passcodes on your iPhone! Apple to inform users of cell network security? Apple bans passcode-collecting app

Rosa Golijan writes about tech here and there. She's obsessed with Twitter and loves to be liked onFacebook.a

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