In simple terms the Patent describes the way an RFID reader built into the iPhone can be used to scan items in a store, and then check on the internet for more information on said item.
Verbiage in the patent tends to suggest that Apple intends to charge retail outlets, or their parent companies, to be included in the network. And also suggests that Apple will track our shopping habits when enquiries are made.
Presumably this could be used to both provide you, the consumer, with information on offers and similar / alternate items located in the store. But rest assured it will also be used by Apple and / or retailers to provide you with information they feel is “useful” to you too!
The service is called “Shopping” by Apple. And seems to be tied to Apple’s other iWallet / e-Wallet strategies surrounding the future of the iPhone, that we have reported on before.
Would you enjoy having a shop assistant in your pocket? Let us know in the comments.[patentlyapple]