Details of an intriguing Apple patent have emerged for a technology that would turn iPhone and iPad owners into walking, talking mobile banks.
Submitted to the US Patents and Trademark Office on July 28, 2011 but published this week, the patent, for an ‘Ad-hoc cash Dispensing Network' would allow iPhone users to borrow money from other Apple device users then reimburse this kindness via their iTunes account.
If an iPhone user with the app installed discovered that they needed money but happened to be in a location bereft of ATMs or establishments that accept payment via card, they would make a request for cash via the app. The app, via a server, would send this request to other iPhone users in the immediate vicinity who could agree or decline to lend the amount of money required and arrange a place to meet.
The borrower would repay the stranger's kindenss via their iTunes account. The system is designed for small amounts -- for example up to $50 -- and while a very interesting idea on paper and in patent request form, whether or not such a feature would work in the real world is anybody's guess. But a noble idea, based on the belief that no one is evil, all the same.