A patent application entitled “Methods and systems for mixing media with communications”, was filed in November 2007 and describes methods for sharing digital media files such as music, videos, and images as part of an audio, video, or data communications connection without terminating the original connection.
The present invention permits a user to initiate a communications operation with a recipient, or to receive a communications operation initiated by another individual, and to transmit a selected media item over the same communication path used for the communications operation without terminating the communications operation. This combined transmission can occur regardless of the type of media selected by the user to be added to the communications operation.
Notably, while Apple’s drawings accompanying the patent application point to implementations related to the iPhone, Apple also makes numerous references to the sharing of media while users are engaged in video conferences, something not possible in the current models of the iPhone. The addition of video calling, which would require a front-facing camera, to the iPhone has been a popular target of speculation, with rumors appearing as recently as this week pointing to the possibility of its appearance in an upcoming iPhone hardware update.