“A future generation of iPod and iPhone portable media devices from Apple Inc. may use wireless technology to receive automated software updates and interact with other iPods and iPhones located within the same general vicinity, a recent patent request has revealed,” Katie Marsal reports for AppleInsider.

“The September 1, 2006 filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office describes methods ‘for delivery of data to a portable electronic device from another electronic device’ over a local wireless network,” Marsal reports.

MacDailyNews Note: Microsoft’s anemic-selling, repackaged Toshiba Gigabeat – badged “Zune” – with limited, DRM-laden wireless “squirting” was inflicted on November 14, 2006.

Marsal continues, “Some examples of specific media data that could be shared between the players include songs, albums, audiobooks, playlists, movies, music videos, photos, computer games, podcasts, audio and/or video presentations, news reports, and sports updates.”

“Other sharable data, the Apple added, may include resource data such as maps, profile information associated with a user, and subscription content. The nature in which media items are shared can also be unrestricted or restricted. According to the filing, examples of restricted sharing of media items include a media item that has limited-use rights or which contains only a sample of the full content,” Marsal reports. “Data, such as audio tracks and video, could also be shared after being purchased wirelessly from a remote server.”

“The filing, which also covers ‘Remote Media Update’ and ‘Multiple Access Point Discrimination’ techniques, is credited to high-ranking Apple employees Stanley Ng, Andrew Hodge, Anthony Fadell, Jeffrey Robbin, Robert Borchers, Chris Bell, and Eddy Cue,” Marsal reports.

More in the full article, including patent app illustrations, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Winston” for the heads up.]