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Wireless (Apple) Businesses Patents Apple Hardware

Apple Patents 'Buy Stuff Wirelessly, Skip Lines' Tech 254

An anonymous reader writes "Apple is looking to patent a process that will save customers the hassle of waiting to order a cup of coffee at a local Starbucks. Even better: The technology would let you jump the line of those ordering in person. 'Customers might tap a button to order their favorite drink, say a double-shot mocha, as they stroll up to the nearest coffee shop. When the drink is ready go to, the device--such as an iPhone--would chime or blink to let the thirsty one know it's time to scoop up the order at the counter. The patent puts Apple's partnership with Starbucks in a new light. The technology promises to morph Apple from the business of simply selling gadgets and music and movies that can be played on those devices into an intermediary in all kinds of exchanges.'"
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Apple Patents 'Buy Stuff Wirelessly, Skip Lines' Tech

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  • Unbelievable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Thursday December 27, 2007 @05:38PM (#21833772) Homepage Journal
    I haven't read the whole patent, and I don't intend to do so. I'm sure there is some very specific crap in there to somehow make this 'different' and 'patentable'. But the truth of the matter is that patenting the process is asinine. I buy pizza this way all the time and have been doing so for a while. I order it and pay online. I walk in, give my name and get my order. I don't wait in line.
    I may have to stop reading any story dealing with patents because the whole thing has just gone completely beyond insane. The only upside I can see is that I could start going to starbucks with a pda in hand, wait to see some tasty drink put out for pickup and snag it before the rightful owner. Free drinks.
  • by LWATCDR ( 28044 ) on Thursday December 27, 2007 @05:41PM (#21833796) Homepage Journal
    You can already buy video from the iTunes store so why not an over priced cup of coffee?
    Now if Apple can just get a GPS into the next iPhone it will be complete.
    You tap the starbucks icon and it finds the nearest Starbucks. You then get a menu select what you want and then you are good to go.
    You then get a text message when it is done.
    Could work for just about any restaurant. My cell phone already searches for gas by price and then can give me turn by turn directions to the station.
  • Re:Obvious patents (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rucs_hack ( 784150 ) on Thursday December 27, 2007 @06:32PM (#21834406)
    I think the main reason for registering such a patent is most likely defensive. Apple have had lots of experience being hammered in stupid patent suites, as have many tech companies, so if they have a patent, however vague, they can use it to prevent expensive lawsuits.

    Not that this justifies silly patents, but it does provide a reason for their registration.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 27, 2007 @09:42PM (#21835814)
    when clicking on the link to read the story i was redirected to an ad page. no problem. at least no problem until i seen how forbes worded it: click here to skip our welcome screen.
    yip, that's the image of the future that i'm talking about. in order to pay the heating bill for mcdonalds you're going to have to pause at the door to see an advert screened on it before you can go in.
    it's going to be great!
    needless to say, i didn't bother going further into i won't be going back.

Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the book or even what book.