Aug 26, 2019

Apple Shelves The Project That Could Have Turned The iPhone Into A Walkie-Talkie

According to The Information report, Apple has shelved the walkie-talkie feature that does not require a network between iPhones. This feature makes it easy for iPhone users to communicate with each other without WiFi or cellular data network coverage.


As the name implies, the walkie-talkie allows the two devices to communicate without the presence of a carrier network. Apple was working with Intel to develop the technology to allow iPhone users to communicate in areas where cell phone coverage is not available. The working principle of it is that it uses the "off-grid radio service" and is therefore referred to as the "OGRS project" within the company, and it relies on 900 MHz radio channels.
Apple was working with Intel on the technology that would have let people send messages from their iPhones directly to other iPhones over long-distance radio waves that bypass cellular networks, said two people familiar with the project. The technology would have functioned something like a walkie talkie for text messages, giving people the ability to communicate in areas unserved by wireless carriers.
It is unclear how far Apple and Intel have gone in the development of this technology. The specific reasons for their abandonment of these efforts are not clear, but the Information cites that “the project director’s departure from Apple" is a major factor. The man, Ruben Caballero, left the company in April and reported that the OGRS project was his "baby."

At the same time, the technology relies on Intel's modem, but with Apple's recent Qualcomm settlement on the cellular modems, things have changed; Apple has also acquired Intel's smartphone modem division to develop its own chips. So who knows, perhaps the iPhone could still support such cool functionality in the future, but it is now on hold.

Image Via Business Insider

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