New Apple Patent Describes Proximity-Based Media Transfer System

apple patent media transferAn Apple patent, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday, describes an inter-device media transfer system that gets triggered automatically if two devices, one of them being portable, are in close proximity of each other.

The patent, titled “Apparatus and method for interacting with handheld carrier hosting media content,” is Apple’s way of tackling the problems associated with one person owning multiple devices, and having his or her media content unevenly distributed across devices. The media content, Apple says, can be images, text, audio or videos.

Here’s an excerpt from Apple’s summary of the patent:

Detecting proximity of a first device relative to a second device; recognizing a desire to transfer content from the first device to the second device; and transferring the content from the first device to the second device.

apple patent media transfer application menu

So for instance, if you want to insert a photo of your hand drawn diagram, shot on your iPhone, in a word document on your desktop, you’d simply bring your iPhone (with the photo of the diagram open) close to your desktop, and Apple’s system would take care of transferring the file, and embedding it in the document.

apple patent media transfer

Apple describes various sensors that could be used to sense proximity between two devices, the most notable of which is NFC. Despite multiple rumors in the past, the company hasn’t yet added an NFC chip into any iOS device. For the actual transfer itself, the two devices could use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

File transfer between two iOS devices is a daunting task for an average user with the exception of the Mac, which has AirDrop. Such a proximity based trigger system coupled with AirDrop on iOS would make media transfer much easier and hassle-free. It’s worth noting that the entire patent application didn’t mention anything about peer-to-peer transfers using NFC, which isn’t entirely surprising given the absence of Bluetooth file transfer on iOS.

For the entire patent application, head over to USPTO’s website.

Tell us what you think about the whole idea in the comments.

Via: Apple Insider

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Categories: Apple Patents