Toward more and better ways to relate

Here’s a Techcrunch story on a patent application by Tony Fadell, Senior Vice President of Apple’s iPod division. Under “Summary of the Invention”, it begins,

  A processing system is described that includes a wireless communication interface that wirelessly communicates with one or more wireless client devices in the vicinity of an establishment. The wireless communication interface receives a remote order corresponding to an item selected by at least one of the wireless client devices. A local server computer located in proximity to the establishment receives the remote order from the wireless communication interface and generates instructions for processing the remote order. The local server computer then passes the processing instructions to an order processing queue in preparation for processing of the remote order.

The comments below the story are worth reading, and a few are very clever. In any case, draw your own conclusions.

Mine is that this is a VRM move. If so, that makes it cool in my book. (Even though I’m no fan of software or business method patents. Still, companies like Apple are going to file them. It’s what they do.)

I also know Tony and like him a lot, so maybe I’m prejudiced a bit.

2 comments

  1. Eric Norman’s avatar

    This doesn’t sound VRMish to me, Doc. It sounds like an enhancement to customer lock-in.

    As soon as a potential customer gets within wireless distance of your store, grease the skids so that they will make a commitment to buy something.

    What is it here that a customer gets to manage about which vendors?

  2. Clerence’s avatar

    Only a mere speculation, but I think this could be a devastating blow to cellular operators. With the incredibly fast expansion of wireless communications technology in recent years, we are about to have wireless internet connections available globally by 2015 (to paraphrase the words of computer science visionary Edsger Dijkstra). With the long awaited WiMax and the unprecedentediFiber Redwire which allows internet reception for over 120 miles, almost putting the WiMax to shame (but I guess that’s up to the telecom towers manufacturers now), I have a feeling that we are going to set foot in a very interesting, exciting and perhaps even a little scary future.
    I think Apple is going to become one gigantic mega conglomerate spanning over not only phone conversations and portable media players, but something much much bigger (or, in the spirit of nanotechnology, smaller).

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