One of the minor hassles of receiving a new iPhone or iPad can be setting it up. But what if it could be ready to go even before you take off the shrink wrap? It’s one possibility Apple is exploring for future product packaging.
An Apple Inc. patent application published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, titled “Personalization of Devices While Packaged,” details an invention that allows users to customize a packaged device through data transmitted over Bluetooth or NFC (near-field communication). This would be accomplished through special smart packaging featuring a “tap here” label that would facilitate the process of loading settings and user preferences such as background images, according to Patently Apple.
Apple’s invention also would allow for new device power modes, including one that fully powered off for transport purposes, and a “packaged” mode that would allow a device to communicate with other devices while using a small amount of energy.
These power states could be triggered through various methods such as motion detection by a device’s accelerometer or a response to discovery messages intermittently transmitted by a device such as an iPhone or iPad. To prevent accidental personalization, the invention can also block wireless customization until it receives information that the device has been purchased.
In other cases the invention could be used to facilitate in-store purchases by wirelessly delivering a prompt to users’ devices with purchase information. Shoppers can’t grab an iPad or iPhone off the shelf just yet at Apple Stores. But the company already facilitates some self-service purchases through EasyPay, which allows user to buy accessories and other products by scanning a barcode and checking out through the Apple Store app.
Apple’s patent application, filed Sept. 24, 2014, credits Brian Tucker, Apple's director of connectivity, as the sole inventor.