Apple may come up with iBeacons Restaurant Ordering & Reservation System, Patent Reveals

This Single Patent May Deliver A Huge Blow To A Dozen Startup Companies

On December 12, 2013, while most Americans were focusing on the winter holidays, the US patent office released a June patent application filed by Apple that is a treasure trove for both customers and restauranteurs. The patent application directly covers a unique system whereby iOS device users can view local restaurant options including real-time wait times and seating availability.It would also allow users to order and pay for food.

I have been presenting the case that Apple is moving slowly and steadily into retail and online payments for quite a few years; it did not make me popular with startups that were told they were disruptive. I have advised many companies (that had the fortitude to listen) since 2008 and now count about 270 patents directly and indirectly based on the payments solutions Apple is building. My most famous public postulation was the move to fingerprint scanner technology later called TouchID, which represents the first significant building block in the direction of an end to end retail payments system. The device first needs to be reasonably secured.

An iOS Table Reservation, Ordering And Payment System

The patent presents a system that is highly integrated with iOS and has dozens of features for the consumer and the merchant. The system in its most basic form allows the iOS user to find local restaurants by any number of criteria and to consult in real-time if there is an open table. The system will then allow for an instant booking and reservation. The system will also allow pre-ordering from a menu along with prepayment. There is far more to the aspects of this system than I can cover in a single posting, but there are dozens of interesting aspects one can find hidden in plain sight.

Direct iBeacons Use Cases

This patent is one of the first to show a deep use of iBeacons in the most expanded use case including of course Bluetooth LE but also as I have presented before but also Wi-Fi, or other network capable of short range wireless communication, one can read this as NFC (Near Field Communications). As the technology premise of iBeacons expands, we will see optics and magnetics also inc ...

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