Apple plans iTunes kiosks in "virtually any location"

Apple has patented plans for iTunes kiosks to be found in "virtually any location", reveals AppleInsider.

A sort of next-generation wireless point of sale unit, the kiosk would be used by iPod or iPhone owners to load up their device with music and movie content when away from the home.

Designed especially for places where bored travellers are facing a long journey, or where Wi-Fi connectivity is zero for OTA downloads, the kiosks would use "a virtual physical connection" between the device.

With more popular content, such as current hit songs, just-released movies or of-the-moment TV shows available on a local media server for faster download, the central iTunes database would be used for more catalogue-type purchases.

Bluetooth 3.0 plus HS, the latest Bluetooth spec as yet to reach the market in devices, offering speeds of 24Mbps, could be one possible way of transferring the data wirelessly, although to reach those top speeds would require a 802.11 Wi-Fi connection to piggy back.

Users could either provide their iTunes login and password to download content or swipe a credit or debit card to pay.

Alternatively, if Apple ever adopted NFC contactless payment for its devices, such low value transactions could be done with a wave of the portable device.

Apple lists potential locations as "airport, hotel, stadium, train station, shopping mall, stores, planes, ships, public transportation vehicles, and the like".

iPod vending machines in such locations already exist, and unlike a lot of the many patent applications seen from patent-happy Apple, this delivery system for content, which would also be a good branding exercise for the company, might well work. What do you think?