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Apple patent filing details 'iGroups' social networking

updated 12:35 pm EDT, Thu March 18, 2010

Networking groups use proximity-based 'tokens'

The US Patent Office on Thursday published an Apple patent application detailing social networking technology using proximity-based communication via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. The background description suggests the technology could be used to automatically share contact information between devices, rather than requiring manual entry into web-based networking services.

"During private or public events (e.g., concert, tradeshows, business meetings, weddings, rallies), a typical individual may have many brief contacts with individuals for which they would like to have further correspondence post event," the description reads.

The system would enable each device to wirelessly send and receive "tokens" containing relevant information. Another service could track which devices were around the same area, matching tokens with timestamps to create groups.

The application includes several diagrams showing an iPhone interface with an "iGroups" utility. The interface provides listings of locations, current members, and buttons that allow the user to accept or decline an offer to join each group. Additional options appear to link with other apps such as Calendar and Address Book, along with SMS and e-mail services.

Apple has yet to disclose any plans to bring the iGroups technology to iPhones or other devices.

by MacNN Staff



  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I love the icon for the Stocks app :)

    And what exactly is 468??

  1. RoosterJuice

    Joined: Dec 1969



    There can never be enough websites or apps that all do exactly the same thing!! I can't wait to update my status in yet another place!

  1. facebook_Richard

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Mar 2010


    Ah, another lawsuit waiting to happen

    Once this is completed, Apple will, of course, sue Facebook, Twitter, and Google for violating their patent on social networking.

  1. ilovestevejobs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Rooster and facebook_Richard

    Yep, besides Apple being a patent troll they copy a very similiar functions that Nokia has had for ages and other companies. In 3 years time Apple will be chasing those guys again

    So sad Apple, so sad

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