The innovative minds of Apple’s R&D (Research and Development) team never cease to amaze us. They’ve come up with all kinds of cool stuff — most of which never makes it into consumer products.
And the latest patent application from the folks in Cupertino is proof of that. Judging by the filing, Apple appears to be experimenting with self-serve “smart kiosks” that can interact with iOS devices…
Patently Apple explains the smart kiosk patent application:
“Apple’s in-store kiosk may reside in an Apple Store or another retailer like best Buy. The idea is simple. You have a new iOS device and you want to find the right accessories or apps for it. You wander into a store with an Apple Kiosk and connect your device to the kiosk which uses a new determination server that will check out your device and list recommendations. If you’re searching for something specific you’ll be able to narrow down your search for something like speakers or headsets.”
The site goes on to explain how Apple could sneak Siri into its kiosks to help give the digital assistant more exposure, but we were thinking that another iPhone 4S-exclusive feature could come into play here: Bluetooth 4.0. The new wireless tech is extremely energy efficient, and extends further than previous versions of Bluetooth.
But the real trick of the smart kiosk is product discovery. After the machine scans your iOS device and lists compatible accessories, it could actually point you in the direction of the items that interest you. Interesting.
Of all of the crazy ideas we’ve seen come out of Apple’s R&D lab, this one actually seems quite feasible.
What do you think? Good idea, or bad idea?