As any good technology innovator should, Apple files quite a few patents. But I'm finding the advertising patents curiouser and curiouser these days. Previously Apple filed a patent on ads that will move themselves around so that they become progressively harder to ignore (yes, this sounds like a usability nightmare). Now, GoRumors reports that Apple has filed a patent for proximity-based ads. So if you happen to be using your iPhone and walking by a store running an ad using this tech, you'll see that ad as you pass by. You've seen Minority Report, right?
What does all this mean? Well considering Apple recently acquired Quattro Wireless, a top company in the mobile ad space, it seems pretty clear that those crazy kids in Cupertino want to chum it up big time with the classy gents of Madison Avenue. That is, Apple is getting into the ad business somehow. My guess is this could be an option for developers. Instead of the algorithms of an AdMob, you would get the most targeted ads ever, really. Or it could simply be yet another patent for us to fuss over that'll come to nothing.