Apple patent application details iPhone server

“Apple Inc.’s iPhone can already playback video, browse the Internet, and place phone calls, but a new filing by the handset maker suggests it may one day take your lunch order and serve as a tour guide at the local zoo,” Slash Lane reports for AppleInsider.

“The concept calls for a short-range wireless network comprised of a central server and one or more wireless routers, such as AirPort Extreme WiFi base stations, that merchants or attraction organizers could install within their venues. Included on the central server would be a proprietary software-based application (or ‘iPhone server’) capable of interfacing and serving up customized information and applications to Apple media devices devices that come within range of the network,” Lane reports.

“‘For example, assuming the establishment is a restaurant, local server may provide a menu to media device,’ the company said. ‘A user may choose contents in the menu for an order by interfacing with device 1020 and submit the order to local server when complete. Local server may then process that order upon receipt,'” Lane reports.

“In some cases, software on the server could interact with software on a user’s media device, such as an iPhone or iPod touch, to allow the menu to be customized for a that user. For example, the personal media device may have stored user preference profiles for desired foods. If it is known that user of device has a dietary restriction (such as diabetes) or prefers to eat vegan food (Steve Jobs), the menu could be customized such that only the food the user is permitted to eat or prefers to eat is provided on the menu,” Lane reports.

More in the full article here.


  1. Didn’t we hear about this before, at least the restaurant aspect? There was a report a few months ago about ordering at Starbucks using your iphone to avoid waiting in line. Anyway, this patent adds credence to that rumor.

  2. The ‘self-guided museum tours’ concept has been quite nicely addressed by the burgeoning cottage industry online, via ordinary iPods. While many large museums already have their downloadable MP3 guides, alternative versions are all over the internet, most for free, and many of excellent (sometimes even better than museums’) quality.

    Obviously, this way you wouldn’t need to prepare for it, so it might be a nice use for the patent. Either way, any kind of location-aware value-added service is a perfect candidate.

    And on the subject of vegetarianism, where I come from, vegetarians are those strange people who don’t eat meat, only poultry and fish (in addition to the vegetables, which officially don’t count as real food)… It has been suggested above that S.J. is a pescetarian (i.e. eats fish); back home they’d probably say: “…as if there’s a difference”.

    Seems like the definition of vegetarianism and other similar dietary choices may depend on the local culture; it might not be the best idea to let iPhone choose your menu based on such criteria…

  3. This is as likely as the myth of the ‘kitchen recipes on your PC’ since the 1980s. Why pay someone big bucks to set it up when you can pay a kid to draw the menu on a chalkboard or in Word?

    Now micro-payments for your food (iBank?), internet discount vouchers and Google street directions make more sense.

  4. @Winston–

    It was David Pague. He basically came up with the idea, and pleaded for someone to make it happen. It looks like Apple was listening, and plans to deliver. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

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