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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Patent News: A Peek At E-Wallet Icon and Photo Booth for the iPhone

In the latest Apple patent news, two recently awarded patents have revealed future plans for the iPhone. Apple appears to be working on some sort of “e-Wallet” application. It also seems that the “Photo Booth” application from Mac OS X will be coming to iOS.
Some type of Apple-designed mobile payment app corroborates the rumors that NFC technology will be implemented into the iPhone 5. When the iOS 4.3 beta was released, 9to5 Mac found two Photo Booth-related frameworks in the firmware. This new Photo Booth patent only affirms that we will in fact be able to use the dorky filters that Photo Booth has to offer on our iPhones.

PatentlyApple on the Photo Booth patent,
“Apple’s patent application generally relates to techniques for applying one or more image alteration effects to image data displayed on an electronic device. In certain disclosed embodiments, the application of such image alteration effects may be triggered based upon the detection of certain device operation events, which may include audio-related events, motion-related events, location-related events, or events relating the imaging properties.”

In classic PatentlyApple fashion, this Photo Booth patent is outlined with great detail in therest of the article. What you need to know is that Apple will most likely add settings to the Camera app that will enable the toggling of effects in the classic Photo Booth preview grids. There will probably also be a “shake to shuffle” photo effects feature that will work in the same way as the iPod’s shake to shuffle feature.

With the iPad 2 set to be announced next week, we’re curious to see if Apple includes Photo Booth alongside FaceTime video chat for the iPad 2′s (rumored) front-facing camera.

PatentlyApple on e-Wallet,
“A recent Apple patent revealed a likely Future version of the iPhone’s forthcoming e-Wallet icon. There’s nothing like getting a peek of the future is there? Of course Apple could be teasing us and change the icon at the last moment. That’s okay too – because the point here is that Apple’s engineers are spelling it out: The e-wallet is coming!”

Apple snuck an “e-Wallet” icon into one of its iPhone patent mockups. Awhile back, some rumors circulated saying that Apple was working on implementing NFC (Near Field Communication) technology into the next version of the iPhone. NFC technology would be used to allow the iPhone to replace the need for credit cards. Instead, users could use the iPhone to make payments on the go.
If NFC is indeed apart of the iPhone 5, it makes sense for Apple to develop some type of mobile payment app that houses all of your banking and transaction information. Apple could just be using the app icon in the above image as a placeholder for something else, but we’d like to think that Apple really is working on some type of virtual wallet for the iPhone. Only time will tell.


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