Apple has filed for a patent (number 20170264674) designed to make it easy redeemable coupons on iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that oyalty cards, identification cards, coupons, tickets, boarding passes and other redeemable documents are used by people every day when making purchases, proving identity, gaining access to events and when traveling. With the ubiquitous use of mobile computing devices, many of these redeemable documents have been digitized and are stored on mobile computing devices. However, Apple says that managing and accessing the digitized versions of these redeemable documents on the mobile computing device can be cumbersome and time consuming.
What’s more, documents such as these are often transmitted to computing devices over a network. The redeemable documents can be embedded within content such as webpages, email, text messages, applications, etc. Embedded redeemable documents can be difficult to detect and manage. Further, users may have a number of computing devices and may not know which device they will be using or have available when they need the received redeemable document. Apple says there’s a need for a method of easily detecting redeemable documents and transmitting them to other computing devices.
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “A computing device can receive content through an application. The received content is scanned to determine if it includes a file type indicating that it includes a redeemable document. A notification is presented to the user when a document has been detected within the content including a button enabling rendering of the document on the computing device.
“The rendered document can include a button to transmit the document to secondary computing devices associated with the user. A user profile associated with the user can include data indicating secondary computing devices associated with the user. The user profile can be accessed to retrieve the data and, if the button is selected, the document can be transmitted to the secondary computing devices from which the user can render the document.”
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.