Apple has just revealed one of its more out-there ideas in a patent application titled Ad-Hoc Cash Dispensing Network. The proposed patent, in short, is a peer-to-peer lending concept that would use iTunes accounts as a connection to let people loan or borrow small amounts of money to each other. The patent, which was reported on by the Unwired View website, shows just how far outside the box the thinking goes over at Cupertino.
So how does it work? Say you're in an ATM-free zone and your digital wallet is up the wazoo. An app on your iPhone would contact potential lenders in the area (known by the fact that they would also have the app on their smartphones). Type in where you are, how much you need, and there could be a lender 100 yards away ready to hand over $20, or however much you need. They would then be repaid from your iTune account. The incentive, says TechCrunch, would be this: You would be charged a service fee, which would be split between the lender and iTunes.
As to whether this concept will ever see the light of day, well, who knows? But you've got to hand it to Apple when it comes to trademarking their stuff—anything from the design of their retail stores to the shape of the iPad is fair game. Where you or I might use a light saber to fight whatever serves as our Evil Empire, Apple uses its extensive patent stable.
[Image by Flickr user Tax Credits]