After reading the patent document, I realized that through this patent, in order to validate a user (User-Device Validation/Verification), they have virtually taken into consideration each and every device and each and every known method, used by spywares, malwares, hackers and espionage experts.
Through this patent, Apple Inc may not try to cross the fine line of snooping but it does opens up the doors to the murky world of Patent wars.
But one thing which I have not understood is that, if the intentions of Apple INC. are to sell a particular device with this particular application then why have they included all electronic devices viz. PCs, mobile phones, PDAs etc i.e. Handheld Devices in general.
Does this mean, they intend to bundle this application, with each and every device they sell includes the MAC, iPhones and iPods or does Apple Inc, doesn’t want any other third party to develop applications based on certain methods described in this patent application.
One such application / appliance which immediately comes into my mind is Heart Attack Detector. Uses the same method for which the patent has been applied for but instead of validating the user, this application with the appliance (hardware – mobile phones PDAs etc) will detect the erroneous ECG will then notify the Doctor that his patient is having an heart attack and using the Location services pin-point the location.
A lot of espionage related devices and applications are available in the market, which utilizes the microphone of the device and transmits the data via various mediums.
This makes me wonder, should I patent “Heart Attack Detector using electronic communication devices” and then fight a loosing battle with Apple Inc for patent infringement?
But one thing is sure, in next few years we will see a steep rise in malwares and spywares using the methods described in this patent especially for smart phones or PDAs or call them by what-ever-name.
Overall Verdict : Mixed
1: Traitor-ware – Yes.
2: Long Term Business Strategy of Apple Inc. – Excellent.
3: Long Term Exploit Impact on Smart Phones – Tremendous.