Apple Exploring iPhone Data Transfers by Bumping Devices Together
Apple might be looking into ways to make data transfers between two different iPhones more seamless, and one possible method to achieve this is to enable the process to be started by simply bumping devices together.
The Cupertino-based tech giant has recently been awarded a patent that describes such a technology, which at first glance appears to work similarly to how other third-party apps enable wireless data transfers between devices.
Apple’s system is called “Proximity and tap detection using a wireless system” and was approved on June 26, after being filed on September 7, 2017. The abstract section of the patent provides a deeper look at how the whole thing could work:
“A method for detecting the proximity of a signal source using wireless systems is contemplated in which a wireless mobile device wirelessly receives packets from a signal source and determines a received signal strength for each packet.
The wireless mobile device may store information based upon the received signal strength for each packet, and calculate from the information stored for all the packets, a current path loss value corresponding to a current distance from the wireless mobile device to the signal source. The wireless mobile device may then determine whether the current distance is sufficient to be an enabling condition such as tap, for example, for a data transfer or a transaction between the wireless mobile device and the signal source.”
Transferring data by bumping devices together isn’t a new idea and is also available on iPhone with third-party apps.
The most famous implementation, however, belongs to an app simply called Bump that was released in 2008 and was available on both Android and iOS. As CultOfMac notes, the app recorded no less than 125 million downloads by 2013 before being discontinued a year later following Google taking over the parent company.
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