The End of Long Coffee Lines

Apple has filed a patent for a wireless system that would let users skip lines at fast-food joints, coffee shops and more by submitting orders through a handheld device, then receiving a notice when the double tall latte is ready to go. The system would work through a music player, a phone or a PDA and, ideally, allow the tech-saavy crowd to save some time. It would also track customers' buying behavior, keep note of their favorite stores, and what they like to order.

Granted, this is just an application, and the system might never come to be, but there could be interesting implications if it does. For instance, one blogger speculates that it could transform the iPhone into a kind of mobile wallet.—Gregory Mone