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New Apple patent hints the company may be entering the restaurant-reservation market

John-Michael Bond, @BondJohnBond
December 16, 2013
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Thanks to Siri, Apple can quickly help you find movie times and buy tickets, make an appointment on your calendar and sometimes rickroll you. At this point, Siri can even help you make a reservation at a restaurant, although that's through integration with OpenTable. (Try asking Siri "Make reservations for two at an Italian restaurant at 7 PM" for an example.) According to Patently Apple, the company has just filed a patent for an even more powerful dining-management system that combines making reservations, managing wait lists and even ordering items, all from the comfort of customers' phones.

Apple's patent idea builds on Siri's existing capabilities, adding the ability to find restaurants that currently have a short wait time for a table. As time goes on, the system becomes more powerful, learning from how long users actually have to wait for their table to produce a more accurate wait time.

The patent even goes so far as to allow users to pre-enter information about things like their food allergies or preferences in order to have menu items recommended that match their taste or survival needs. It presents some fascinating possibilities about the future of mobile reservations. We're curious to see how OpenTable and other reservation services will compete if Apple enters this particular market. Of course, not all Apple patents ever make it to actual working products, but it's interesting to see how the company is looking at making it easier for us to spend our money eating out all the time.

You can read the whole patent application below.

Apple Reservation & Ordering System Patent Application

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