by Derek Clark
Contributing Writer, [GAS]
Remember as a kid how you’d dream about all the cool stuff you’d one day enjoy in the future? Well, you probably don’t have a pink hoverboard or self-lacing sneakers just yet, but chances are, Apple has already patented it.
Recently, Mashable.com reported that Apple was granted 563 patents in 2010. 563! That’s a lot of lowercase i’s. Think about it. What’s the best idea you had last year? A cat litter box shaped like a chocolate chip cookie? A Snuggie tank top? A towel that dries towels? Whatever it was, I’m sure even the janitor at Apple probably thought of ten things way cooler.
Here are just a few patented ideas that Apple’s custodial engineer may or may not have helped design…
iBike: Apple’s smart bike concept is like the Nike+ running system, but for those who prefer to pedal. Sure, you’ll be able to monitor your heart rate, speed, distance, etc. on your iPod or iPhone, but the system could be utilized to create live, competitive gaming between you and other riders. The entire city could be your Mario Kart racetrack. Eat my stardust, Bowser!
iKey: Do you really need all those jagged pieces of metal stabbing you in your pocket or hiding like a frightened turtle at the bottom of your purse? Apple doesn’t think so. Your iPhone already does everything else for you. Why not let it unlock your car and home with a proximity-based PIN code system? Of course, saying ‘open sesame’ while doing it won’t be necessary, but you’ll do it anyway.
iHeadset: Hold up. Why do we need another douche-defining, bluetooth earpiece, you say? ‘Cause it’s got lasers! Not really, but it would have standalone media playback functionality. So fortunately, the asshats that insist on wearing it every minute of the day can at least pretend to be listening to music. Although, I’m not sure their Winger albums still count as music.
And that’s just the tip of the iIceberg. Who knows? Maybe Steve Jobs’ recent leave of absence is just him testing out the beta version of the Apple Time Machine. No, we’re not talking about this one here. So, if you start seeing unexplained iPhones or strange old guys wearing mock turtlenecks and blue jeans popping up in old photos from 1985, it probably means you can go ahead and download that new time machine app in the App Store. Hell, it’s only 99¢!