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Apple patents always aim to break barriers in technology. From wireless earbuds to modular smart bands, Apple’s patent holdings give us an inside view at what we can expect (or at least hope to see) from the company in future years. Their latest patent, though, is something that could easily be a reality sooner than later.
Most recently, Apple received a patent for “point-to-point ad hoc voice communication,” which details a new way for individuals to connect without the use of cellular networks. Instead, users could connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and establish a connection with local individuals through a user-friendly app. This way, instead of requiring users to pick through their contact list, they could select users to connect with off of a local area map.
The patent hopes to break users free of their network connections and instead help them make local connections with better quality. It has been readily apparent that both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections have less lag than traditional cellular networks. And the use of specific headsets (detailed in the patent) could help to deliver better call quality and noise filtering for loud environments. Plus, Apple believes that their point-to-point connections could be encrypted to enhance security and privacy on these type of calls.
Although walkie-talkie functionality may seem antiquated, Apple’s patent suggests a number of scenarios where users would find the functionality helpful. For instance, two friends talking in a crowded room or two colleagues trying to connect in a busy conference hall.
Most of Apple’s patents project products of the future and help to outline the company’s potential in the tech world. But this patent shows how Apple is consistently trying to bring better connectivity to its users, even if it means tapping into a “slightly outdated” technology and making it new. This functionality would not only be a more practical and advantageous way to connect, but would also break users free of spotty cellular service or over saturated LTE networks.
Can you think of another practical use for Apple’s walkie-talkie functionality?
Let us know in the comments below!