Latest Apple Patent: Cool But Premature

Apple engineers just keep coming up with cool ideas. It's too bad they are light years ahead of mobile carriers. Another patent has been discovered that would allow iPhone users to share media during an ongoing phone call.

apple iphone patent

Imagine talking to a friend and playing a pop hit for this person without leaving the phone call. Not only will you both hear the music, you can discuss how bad it is in real time.

The same applies to photos, videos, voicemails and podcasts. The real killer app here is iChat video conferencing. Once iPhone hardware hits with a front-facing camera, it will be a no-holds-barred mega-bandwidth multimedia blitz. Assuming anyone wants to video chat.

Engineer Jeffrey Terlizzi is credited with these patents. They are great ideas, but I bet Jeffrey won't get too far implementing this at least until the LTE network is widespread after 2011. AT&T can't even handle a simple MMS on the iPhone 3G S until later this summer.

That's this summer. Summer 2009. No MMS? How the heck will they handle in-call video streaming?

From the patent text:

Once shared, the media file could be controlled - ideal for those “listen to this bit, you’ll love it” moments - and the conversation could be continued while the media plays. Alternatively Apple tips future video calling capabilities for the iPhone, with the system allowing for two concurrent video streams: one for the conversation, and one for shared video footage.

Another possibility is the introduction of an invitation system, whereby one user could invite another to join them in watching a video - such as a YouTube clip - or listen to a specific audio file. Users who have had files shared with them would be able to control them from their own handset for as long as the share continues, skipping through their friend’s library.