Apple Plans Video Calling and Location Aware Social Networking For iPhone

Apple's sweeping "Device to Device Location Awareness" patent covers a lot of ground, not the least of which are a hint at iPhone video conferencing and the ability to locate whoever's on the receiving end of your call.

According to the technology proposed in the patent, a caller's phone would ping the mobile device it's communicating with to request location details. The second device determines its location and sends the information back to the originating cellphone, where it's automatically displayed on the screen. It appears to be an opt-in service, so all you Sneaky Petes won't have to share your location if you don't want to.

One intriguing section of the patent also suggests a video conferencing future for the iPhone:

"Note that the reference to 'voice call' here is not limited to a conventional, sound-only conversation. It may also include video of the two users, synchronized with their audio."

It may indeed! And while the patent was only made public today, it was originally filed way back in the fall of 2008.

A full breakdown of the dirty details can be found at Patently Apple. In the meantime, all you video call-loving stalkers should be salivating right now. [USPTO via Patently Apple]