Apple Patent Application Points to iAP Accessory SDK

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office recently published a patent request from Apple, Inc. for a software development kit (SDK) for in-application programming (iAP). Patent application US2012-0023199 would essentially make it possible for the iPhone or iPad to communicate with any compatible device.

Imagine using your iPad to turn on your stereo, or your computer, or your coffee machine. Well, maybe that’s going to far, but you get the idea.

The patent, filed September 30, 2011, “relates generally to communication between an accessory and a mobile computing device, and in particular to using accessories and/or applications-specific protocols for such communications.” It embodies a set of software development tools that would allow a communication “contract” between a mobile device and an accessory.

From the patent’s summary,

“For example, when an accessory couples with a mobile computing device, it may perform initialization, identification and/or authentication procedures using an accessory protocol defined by the mobile computing device.”

This SDK would act as a sort-of “interpreter” of language between a mobile device and another gadget. It would make it possible for accessory makers to build apps for the iPhone or iPad that could communicate directly with their devices. For example, it would be like using your phone to control a desktop radio.

It is basically a contract that Apple can give out to the makers of these accessories so they have a specification to work with to allow communication to mobile devices. The sky is the limit with the possibility of compatible electronics. It could potentially make it possible to do away with all the remotes in the house. Landline phones could work with it so that you wouldn’t need a handset. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll even be able to tell your coffeemaker to brew you up a cup with your iPad.

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