Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has applied for a patent that would allow users to experience a physical social network based on shared music according to AppleInsider. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s last attempt at a social network, the little used Ping, was a failure, but Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is a willing innovator in the music space, and may be willing to try the idea again.
The so called “silent disco” patent will allow users to host distributed private concerts where each user listens to music on their headphones. The music is controlled by one participant who acts as a DJ. The users can all listen to the same song, or to different songs which are matched based on their beat and tempo among other attributes.
Apple’s silent disco
The silent disco market is a niche most often found at music festivals and trendy night clubs, but at least one Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) engineer reckons the idea has enough mass market appeal to patent the technicalities behind a private version. The technology would only allow users to listen to their own music, rather than sharing it, and would match the song picked by the DJ to the closest piece in the listener’s collection.
The silent disco concept is extended in the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) patent as the technology could use any number of wireless technologies to send music choices to different devices. This means that users could share a concert despite being spread across the globe. Whether a truly distributed silent disco is something anybody would actually want is questionable.
Physical social network
There’s an element of physicality in the experience described by the patent, and it’s accompanied by tones that suggest it could be used as a sort of social network. The patent allows for other information to be transferred across the service including avatars and personal information.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has attempted a music based social network before, and physical social networks have certainly been touched upon. The company could leverage this patent to create a mesh of the two ideas. The experience would be a truly unique one, though there’s nothing that suggests it would be an overnight success.
This is, after all, just one of the many patents that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) files with incredible regularity. The company may never action this particular idea. It might be interesting to see where the company could go with the concept if it were to develop it, however.