In the race for technological innovation, Apple has never been a company that settles for the conventional. In this regard, the latest patent filed by the company might seem more than a little out of the ordinary at first glance. The patent, registered under the number 20200302345 (via appleworld.today), describes “systems and methods for accessing hotel services using a portable electronic device.” In other words, Apple could be planning a hotel application for the iPhone and Apple Watch.
A HUB that concentrates and enhances the experience
In the patent filing, Apple acknowledges that when travelers stay in hotels or places other than their homes, they can have numerous interactions with the service. Booking a room, checking in, obtaining keys, ordering room service, controlling room settings, purchasing entertainment options, or even scheduling post-trip aspects like check-out are all necessary interactions that can be consolidated in one place. Apple states that these different actions can sometimes be complex for the user.
Just here is where Apple wants to overcome such obstacles with an application for the iPhone and Apple Watch that can interact with one or more servers associated with the hotel. An application that would centralize all these functions, providing the user with a single platform to interact with the hotel services. An application that would not only simplify the process for the user but also serve as an incentive to use more hotel services.
According to the patent, this application can connect to different servers associated with hotel services (e.g., room service) and servers associated with local attractions, shops, or establishments, allowing us to make reservations, make purchases, or access information directly from one place. Furthermore, Apple suggests that the application can connect to hotel room controls via HomeKit or Matter to configure aspects such as lighting, temperature, audio and video settings, and other variables.
The patent defines the proposal as follows: “This pertains to systems and methods for integrating hotel services into a single application available for a portable electronic device. Using the single application, a user can access and control hotel services before arriving at the hotel, upon arriving at the hotel, in the hotel room, in the local vicinity, and after leaving the hotel.”
Apple has already taken similar steps in similar directions in the past. Apple News as a news aggregator, Apple News+ as a single access point to press publications, the arrival of the Health app on iPadOS 17, or even iTunes as a store for hundreds of record labels worldwide. Now, they could be ready to take a step into the realm of hotel services with the potential creation of a comprehensive application for these services.
Certainly, this patent is one of the more peculiar ones from Apple, but it shows how the company continues to seek solutions that improve key aspects of our daily lives. Of course, a patent does not guarantee that a product will come to market. However, the fact that Apple is exploring this option is indicative of how the company is constantly looking for ways to innovate and expand in new directions. In this case, creating a hotel application may seem like a deviation from Apple’s traditional path, but it aligns with their goal of making life easier and more convenient for all of us who use their devices.
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