updated 12:05 pm EDT, Thu April 8, 2010
Files for patents at home and abroad
Having just won a collection of patents, Apple has been revealed to be pursuing at least two more ideas. One pair of patent applications, originally submitted in September 2009, depict a cable that would merge DisplayPort and USB 3.0 into one connector. The technologies use comparable amounts of bandwidth, Apple notes, and combining the two would allow for smaller connectors and extra convenience.
Apple has been rumored to be a force behind Light Peak, an Intel interconnection standard that would similarly merge different data types. The USB/DisplayPort combination, however, would be specially aimed at carrying video for monitors alongside peripheral data. Diagrams depict a male plug attached to an iPod.
A third application, submitted through the World Intellectual Property Organization rather than the US Patent and Trademark Organization, documents a way of handling peer-to-peer financial transactions. One device would request payment from another using near-field communications technology. The first would then have to pick a crediting account, and get the transaction authorized by a financial server. A camera could be used to obtain a picture of a "payment instrument," potentially even extracting information through character recognition.