Apple may begin selling tickets

News comes on day MySpace unveils ticketing system

DENVER -- On the same day that MySpace unveiled it's long-anticipated concert ticketing system, news broke that Apple earlier this month submitted an application to patent a wide-ranging ticketing system for both desktop and iPhone users called "Concert Ticket +."

It's only a patent application, so there's no certainty that any of this will necessarily see the light of day. But it could help jump-start the sluggish mobile ticketing market by motivating Apple's competitors to get their own systems in place in preparation.

Apple's patent outlines a system that lets users buy concert tickets within iTunes, have the ticket sent to their iPhone to gain entry into the event, and then adds several other features to enhance the actual concert experience. Those features include anything from offering fans the ability to buy live recordings of the event they are attending, to coupons for discounted refreshments or merchandise.

The patent outlines several scenarios, but one interesting option is the inclusion of a series of kiosks enabled with a technology called near field communications, or NFC. NFC would require a turnstile or kiosk at the venue be equipped with a chip that can recognize when a supporting iPhone is near, and swap data with it. That would allow users to simply swipe their phone near a turnstile to gain entry, or swipe it near a cash resister to receive a discount. However it also requires venues to install special equipment, and that's been something that has stalled the mobile ticketing effort for years.

Other potential amenities listed in the patent applications includes the delivery of song lyrics, venue maps and directions, prepaid our discounted parking, and exclusive content. It should also be noted that the system applies to events other than tickets, including conferences (the patent lists Apple's own Worldwide Developers Conference as an example), sporting events, and amusement parks. It's even got a wedding invitation element.
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