Patently Apple has discovered some documents on USPTO today referring to a new application for iPhone Apple’s developing called “iGroups”. The app should be based on the MobileMe infrastructure, allowing users to create groups and communicate with people attending “live events”. The whole document is rich and worth a read, here’s an excerpt:
“Apple is working on a new communications based social networking application that they’re simply calling “iGroups.” According to the documents published by USPTO today, Apple’s iGroup will be a new service that will work on your iPhone and likely work with MobileMe. The idea is to allow groups of friends or colleagues attending such events as a concert, a tradeshow, business meeting, wedding or rally to stay in communication with each other as a group to share information or reactions to live events as they’re occurring. The technology behind the new iGroup social networking applications works with a very sophisticated cryptographic key generation system to ensure security and privacy of your communications. Interestingly, the patent states that if one of the devices in your group happens to be without true positioning technology, it appears that Apple’s MobileMe service will provide some sort of “virtual GPS” capability to that user so that they could be aware of the locations of others in the group. Apple’s patent provides us with example scenarios of both a concert and WWDC event to clarify the service.”
Geo location, real time communication, MobileMe and a lot more in a single application that seems to start from the solid foundations of services like Gowalla and Foursquare. Interesting.