The patent shows a video recording that would be played after a video chat request is ignored, when a conversation times out, or when a user’s iChat status is set to Away. The feature would also allow you to upload a video to a server, so it would play even when you’re offline.
But could the iChat feature appear in Snow Leopard? Apple had something similar in pre-release builds of Leopard, but dropped it. With Snow Leopard possibly just two months away, is Apple bringing it back?
Truth be told, we’re more interested in location sensing and the rumoured “marble” redesign for Snow Leopard. An iChat video answering machine seems like quite a tacky and intrusive feature, especially if just leaving an chat window open can trigger it, but we’ll let you know if it makes the cut when Snow Leopard is unveiled.