Apple Files Anti-Sexting Patent

Apple CEO Steve Jobs really seems to hate adult content on his iOS platform. While Android might get all the content too steamy (or immoral depending on how you look at it) for Apple to allow it on their iTunes store, Jobs’ new iPhone 4 certainly has potential for some adult activities through its FaceTime feature. While it might be impossible—I would cringe to see a patent filed that would do it—to prevent adult interaction on a video call, that does not stop Apple from patenting technology to keep the evils of ‘sexting’ away from iOS.

In case you have been living under a rock the past couple of years, sexting is the sending of sexually explicit text messages to another. Apple’s patent #7,814,163 describes a system that allows it to control what text messages are allowed to be sent and received. While the technology patent does have parts that refer to educational uses, the most obvious part is the one that will allow an administrator to set the allowed language level.

This technology could end up on your work issued iPhone or you could put it on the iPhone you give your child. Since it would certainly be some type of massive lawsuit if Apple prevented everyone from sexting, this technology is not going to just show up in the next iOS update. Someone will have to activate it.

Besides just the profane language filtering applications, the patent would also allow the iPhone to force students write with proper grammar and spelling or make them send text messages in the foreign language they are currently studying. This is an interesting application for the technology. Anyone else wonder if the iPhone can cure the world’s children of incomprehensible spelling and grammar? I consider myself pretty hip and young but cannot comprehend some of the text messages I receive sometimes. Excuse me for expecting a period at the end of a sentence or not abbreviating ‘thanks’ to thks’.

What do you think? Apple have an interesting idea here? Any parents interested in forcing their children to text message properly before their language skills become non-existent? Or how about keeping sexting away from them? If Apple does commercialize the technology and make it available, I am sure some companies will look at it as a way to keep sexual harassment down and increase professionalism. Let me know if you think Apple should have anything to do with forced text messaging censorship even if it does appear legitimate.

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