Feeds

Google wants to patent mobile commerce

Psychiatric help and vegetables included

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Google owes its success to putting advertising into parts of our lives where no one has ever put adverts before. Now a new patent illustrates the extent of its ambitions.

Last week Google applied to patent one of the cornerstones of mobile commerce - billing by SMS. Details of the invention, entitled "Text message payment", are scant in the application that was published on Thursday. But US 2007/0203836 does, however, illustrate the extent of Google's ambitions. It envisages payments for conventional retail shopping (for example at Starbucks or McDonald's), as well as browser-based surfing, and SMS services such as ringtones.

The invention is, according to the application:

A computer-implemented method of effectuating a payment, comprising: receiving at a computer server system a text message from a payor containing a payment request comprising a payment amount sent by a payor device operating independently of the computer server system; debiting a payor account for an amount corresponding to the amount of the payment request; and crediting a payee account that is independent of the computer server system.

From the accompanying images, Google illustrates how one embodiment of the invention could work:

Google patent application: SMS billing

Which will be familiar to anyone who sells ringtones today. Another attachment illustrates what we presume to be a typical day's shopping for a Google employee:

Google patent application: SMS billing

Although we must note that here, the vegetable seller is also the psychiatrist. So by sharing information, the psychiatrist can remind the mobile punter to eat their vegetables. Presumably, all this information is then relayed to Google's new health initiative.

Google has been briefing potential partners about its mobile phone software platform, as we revealed earlier this year. In June it snapped up Grand Central, a universal mobile messaging start-up.

The idea is to create a mobile platform for Google's core advertising business: think of an OEM-able Sidekick with always-on AdSense. For April 1, we imagined what it would look like, here

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.