Apple filled a patent titled ‘Group Formation Using Anonymous Broadcast Information’ with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. This one is a proposed mobile application which is location-aware. This gets delivered by a token based system and features the ability to give iPhone or other mobile device users an easy way to find each other and gather when they are in the same physical place such as; tradeshows, business meetings, concerts or weddings.

Apple says that, during private or public events, a typical individual may have contact with people that they would like to keep in touch with after the event.

The tokens would be stored and received on the user’s iPhone with timestamps. This feature will enable a service to correlate or match the tokens with other ones in the same geographic location. After the analysis, a group can be created and users come to be identified members and eventually invited to join the group.

In this patent, a rock concert is used as an example. This is a place where lots of Bluetooth enabled device users attend and set their iPhone to Token Exchange mode. The devices within transmission range are stored and tokens are exchanged. After that upload and storing procedure completes, users upload their tokens to their trusted service which has the role of maintaining a database. Next, the user sets his account to post or relay personal information, including physical location to other iPhone holders with the aim of forming live groups.

This action is Apple’s attempt to play catch-up in social networking, to put themselves in competition with Facebook and Twitter.