MacRumors points to an interesting new patent application from Apple describing a new kind of social experience on your iPhone which includes location-based interest matching. “When two strangers meet, it may take a long and awkward conversation to discover their common interests or experiences,” Apple writes. Indeed. So what is the company proposing then?

Common interests and experiences of two or more users located close to each other can be identified from content, including automatically created usage data of the mobile devices. Usage data of a mobile device can be created based on activities performed on the mobile device (e.g., songs downloaded), a trajectory of the mobile device (e.g., places traveled), or other public data available from the mobile device (e.g., pictures shared).

In other words, your iPhone could help your find a matching friend, business partner or your next wife or husband. This could be a fit for Apple’s social network for music dubbed Ping, especially when combined with your real identity Apple has on file in iTunes. The document credits Apple engineer Shuvo Chatterjee with the invention. You can browse the patent application by typing in its ID (20110142016) into the United States Patent & Trademark office search engine.

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