Apple patent filing reveals Bluetooth-based wireless hotspot tech; perfect for ‘iWatch’

“An Apple patent filing published on Thursday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office details a wireless network sharing technology that leverages low-power Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi, making it a prime candidate for small devices like the much-rumored ‘iWatch,'” Mikey Campbell reports for AppleInsider.

“In its application for ‘Network access using short-range connectability,’ Apple proposes a method by which a device can connect to, and share a network with, a second device via low-power communications, such as Bluetooth,” Campbell reports. “A supporting device, such as an iPhone, can broadcast a signal, advertising the availability of its shared network to other electronics within range. In turn, the device without a cellular radio can send a request to pair with the host, asking that its network sharing be activated. Pairing takes place when the supporting machine activates the shared network and begins sending data to the first device. All this is done without user intervention.”

Campbell reports, “Although the invention makes no mention of a watch, the tech’s low-power data transfer capabilities are in line with features some speculate will be incorporated into the so-called ‘iWatch.'”

Read more in the full article here.

9 Comments

  1. This technique for ultra low power connectivity to the internet via an existing device, such as an iPhone, could be used in many types of wearable devices, but also with things like security devices and home automation.

    My only reservation is whether service providers would classify it as tethering and then try to charge huge amounts extra each month ?

    1. The problem, though, is that Apple isn’t making an iWatch. The iWatch is supposed to be an accessory to the Apple TV, or even a standalone TV set. All these rumors were made to trick Samsung into making a Smart watch, and making them look foolish 🙂

  2. Methinks the headlining Sapphire Story of recent days is far more likely to point towards an iWatch implementation initially, than iPhone. Also Liquidmetal is much more likely to be used in an iWatch initially than an iPhone IMHO. Put together you would have a virtually indestructible piece of electronics, perfect for a wrist that goes anywhere and swings everywhere. Also, the high(er) cost of sapphire and LQMT would be mitigated somewhat by the presumably small(er) size of the product.

    1. If Apple introduced a wearable device, inductive charging may already be in place.

      The patent application for the touch sensor also mentions an inductive coupler. Most assumed that this meant that the iPhone might be recharged inductively, but I suspect that the real purpose might be to allow the iPhone to inductively charge something else which only needs a tiny amount of power.

  3. Really folks – If Apple designs a wearable device it’s not going to be a corney old watch. It’s ok with me if the do, mind you, but it’ll just be a blip on their product radar. If they come out with a wearable device I think it will be ear buds – wireless earbuds that track all movement and heart rate, and breathing, and etc. And, they’ll be bluetooth devices, so if you want to listen to sound while wearing them you’ll be able to do that too. Or, they’ll make something you’ll wear behind your ear that does the same thing.

    Hmm… maybe they’ll make something you’ll wear in your shorts. Hmmmm!

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