The list released by the United States Trademark and Patent Office (USPTO) shows that Apple has acquired a new patent for a satellite technology that has the capability to locate user equipment in Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN).
According to the patent description, Apple has outlined a scenario where an iPhone or MacBook user’s communication system could contact air traffic control if the aircraft’s systems were to go into radio silence for some reason. The patent also mentions that this technology could be expanded to address major communication failures in buildings and trains.
Apple stated that user equipment (UE) can connect to non-terrestrial networks (NTN), and provides mechanisms for collecting positioning information from UEs located on an aircraft as an example embodiment.
Additionally, the patent explains that UEs may communicate with each other using side links. The term “bypass link” refers to communication links between UEs. These side links enable direct device-to-device (D2D) communication, bypassing the need for a base station to relay information and data exchanged between UEs.
Such a feature if implemented properly could enable communications in the case of Airline equipment malfunction and could serve as a great way of how consumer tech can be used for the greater good. Do let us know your thoughts about the same in the comments section below!
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