Apple has just published a patent turning a lightning jack headphone into an Apple walkie talkie.
New Patent: Apple Walkie Talkie
Via the United States Patent & Trademark Office, Apple Inc. is looking to create a wireless talking system that uses lightning cables as its source. The patent describes the walkie talkie system as “point-to-point ad hoc voice communication.” The lightning jack headset will have the capability to connect to other lightning jack headsets through the wireless ad hoc network. The headsets will be able to communicate with other headsets that posses the same gear and are in close proximity using either Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or other similar systems. These systems differ from that of cellular or satellite due to their low latency communication and reduced delay between devices.
The patent further poses that user interaction may include a graphical representation of the particular remote device presented in a graphical user interface. The user interaction may also include an audio command received via an audio interface of the device.
According to Tech News Hunter, “the exhaustively detailed patent was drafted by a former Sennheiser engineer, and amounts to what could be described as an enhanced walkie-talkie system with touch-enabled, icon-based GUI for establishing connections between peers.”
At this time, there is no clear indication of how Apple plans to use this patent, but it does lead me to believe the 3.5 mm jack may be gone for good.
The point-to-point ad hoc voice communication patent was filed on November 24, 2014 and published today.