Apple patent suggests temporary location-specific apps are in-bound
The site claims said patent could allow bricks-and-mortar businesses to directly tap onto iPhone handsets by installing temporary location-specific apps on the home screen.
The apps would be triggered via public or private wi-fi networks when an opted-in user comes within a set distance of the business in question.
Take-out menus, restaurant waiting times or store catalogues, for instance, could all pop up in app form on the handset, only to disappear again without any input or prompt when the user fell back out of range.
As the site puts it, the opportunities are almost limitless.
"The idea is that when an iPhone user that has this location based content service activated, simply by approaching a restaurant the user of the device may, for instance, view a seating wait time icon...that displays the estimated wait time before being seated," states the website.
It continues, "In another example of a temporary location-specific app, a user entering a library with their iPhone could be presented with a temporary location based app that enables the user to search the library's digital card catalog.
"Upon exiting the library the application may be automatically removed such that the application is not permanent on the user's iPhone. These features enable the mobile device to make applications available when and where they are most useful to users."
It is, without question, an extraordinary concept, and one that could seemingly fit almost any commercial business if it ever came to fruition.
Just how possible it is technologically speaking remains up for debate, but given many retailers already use Bluetooth-triggered text alerts as standard practice, it's easy to imagine any move by Apple into this area would quickly foster substantial commercial support.