Recent news that Apple has applied to patent app ideas for travel, hotel reservations and shopping set digital tongues wagging about the possible unfairness of such a move. The term “patent troll” bounced around as critics and proponents of openness decided that such patenting could be dangerous and scary. In theory, Apple would own the methods by which travel reservations are made or hotels are booked. It would directly compete with the idea of independent, mobile app developers who have brought their collective creative genius to the App store in ways that were previously unimagined.
Apple’s idea for a hotel app would give users the capability to check-in and check-out any time they want, and to leave for the theater or concert for which they purchased tickets via the app. It would essentially be akin to the universal remote control on steroids. But while at a glance it seems like a great idea, tech watchers aren’t pleased that it comes from Apple rather than independent developer. Additionally, some of the features of the proposed Apple patented app are done by others, meaning there could be trouble or on the horizon.
Regardless, the application for patenting the air travel app is intriguing. The app would function as a virtual assistant with GPS, clock, calendar and contact list all integrated. It would track the user’s plans for air travel and track the user as such travel is executed. It determine when the person shuts off the device, presumably to board a plane then when it’s turned on again, the app would already know the time and place and notify others as necessary. Plus it could say where to get breakfast since they no longer serve it on planes.
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