The Apple iTravel project appears to be gaining momentum by the day with a new patent filed in the US this week to run an extremely powerful location-based tool.
The latest piece of functionality uses the iPhone's geo-positioning software to automatically provide app-based services to the user wherever they are around the world.
PatentlyApple picked up on the latest piece of technology sent by the phone and software giant to the US Patents Office - a filing which comes just weeks after the registration of the core iTravel software bundle.
Essentially the software works by pinpointing the user's location - in the same way as the mapping software works on the existing iPhone - and then provides an app appropriate.
For example, a user could be standing at the entrance of a museum or other attraction in a destination. An app containing details about the service, including booking capability and other tools, would automatically appear or be available for selection, allowing the user to carry out research about what's on offer or avoid lengthy queues.
In theory the same technology could be used for reservations and details for theatres, restaurants or perhaps ski centres where there are multiple booking, reservation or shopping options available in-resort.
Obviously some kind of permission system for push-data feeds would need to be included - or a method so the user would be able to easily select which app is appropriate to that location.
Clearly the idea behind such a tool is to take some of the pressure off the user, automatically pushing information about products and services in a destination rather than seeing the user frantically browsing through search results for information.
Here is a pic from PatentlyApple illustrating perhaps how a library or restaurant system would look:
And a diagram on the technology:
Although the patents are just that at the moment - registrations of technology and software - the jigsaw that is iTravel is seemingly coming together into a rather intriguing and useful picture of services for the traveller.
Worth remembering that the iTravel and location app patents come in the same period of development at Apple as the acquisition of Siri, the mobile voice-based virtual assistant service.