Face-Cook, Ive-Space, or Schi-tter? Apple patent hints at new social network

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You know what's cool? A new kind of social network. Photo: Columbia Pictures
You know what's cool? A new kind of social network. Photo: Columbia Pictures

Apple could introduce its own iOS-exclusive social network, according to a patent application published today.

Described broadly as “Lifestyle-Based Social Groups,” the application may be used to set up real-world childcare groups, lift-sharing, dining clubs etc., by automatically determining your interests and then pointing you toward similar people.

Photo: USPTO/Apple
A high level overview of Apple’s social network. Photo: USPTO/Apple

The patent describes how user interests could be harvested by analyzing information about daily routines. This might include movement patterns, user activity history in terms of downloads or app usage, or just the specific places you visit.

Using these datapoints, the service would then be able to predict user actions (such as the fact that you hit the gym every Tuesday after work, or that you enjoy bike trails on the weekend) and advise you about similarly interested people in the vicinity.

An illustration of how Apple's social network could function. Photo: USPTO/Apple
Multiple users could be pointed toward people with similar interests. Photo: USPTO/Apple

Where there are multiple users exhibiting the same patterns, Apple could even set up ad hoc social groups, which people would be able to join. Inside these groups, users could message each other to chat, meet up, or simply share useful information, such as traffic conditions or updates.

Of course, given Apple’s stance on privacy, all of this information would have to be transparent to the user, and could only be shared with their permission. However, given how smart our devices are (and how much smarter they will get thanks to sensor-filled devices such as the Apple Watch) this seems a great opportunity for Apple to draw more users into its ecosystem.

While ensuring you don’t hang out with pesky Android users, of course!

Source: USPTO

Via: Patently Apple