or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Future Apple iPods, iPhones may talk to each other
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Future Apple iPods, iPhones may talk to each other

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
A future generation of iPod and iPhone portable media devices from Apple Inc. may use wireless technology to receive automated software updates and interact with other iPods and iPhones located within the same general vicinity, a recent patent request has revealed.

The September 1, 2006 filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office describes methods "for delivery of data to a portable electronic device from another electronic device" over a local wireless network -- a technique eerily similar to one introduced by Microsoft with its Zune media player last November.

"In one embodiment, one mobile device discovers another mobile device within its vicinity. The mobile devices can then wirelessly transmit data from one mobile device to the other," Apple wrote in the filing. "Typically, the mobile devices are associated with persons (users). The mobile devices, or their users, can control, request or influence the particular data content being delivered."

Capable iPods and iPhones, the filing states, would include a processor that is configured to discover other electronic device via a wireless link, request data from the other electronic device over the wireless link, and receive from the other electronic device a wireless transmission of at least a portion of the data requested via the wireless link.

Some examples of specific media data that could be shared between the players include songs, albums, audiobooks, playlists, movies, music videos, photos, computer games, podcasts, audio and/or video presentations, news reports, and sports updates.

Other sharable data, Apple added, may include resource data such as maps, profile information associated with a user, and subscription content. The nature in which media items are shared can also be unrestricted or restricted. According to the filing, examples of restricted sharing of media items include a media item that has limited-use rights or which contains only a sample of the full content.

Apple in the filing goes on to say that shared data can be transferred to a one or more recipient devices by file transfer or streaming methods.



"Users of data devices can also create and distribute content through data sharing," the company wrote. "The streaming can be limited so as to restrict the number of data devices simultaneously receiving the data. On the other hand, if the users of the data devices are subscribers to the streaming content (i.e., have a subscription), then the streaming can be unlimited as to subscribers."

Data, such as audio tracks and video, could also be shared after being purchased wirelessly from a remote server, Apple explains:

"For example, a recipient could purchase data from a remote server. The remote server would then cause the purchased data to be delivered to the recipient's data device. The purchase can be performed in real-time or can be deferred until a later point in time. Thereafter, the purchased data can be shared from the recipient's data device to another data device."

Furthermore, data sharing or exchange between iPods and iPhones could be automatic, manual or a combination of manual and automatic. "For example," the filing says, "automatic sharing of data can occur when a data device comes within range of a wireless transmission of data. As another example, data can be automatically transferred in the context of a synchronize operation. The synchronize operation can be automatic or operated in accordance with a schedule. The synchronize operation can also be manually initiated. "



The manner by which the data arrives at the data device can similarly depend upon implementation. For example, data can be indirectly transferred to the data device, where one data device can cause another data device to transfer desired data to a recipient data device via a chain of devices.

Apple in the 37-page filing goes on to describe several data transfer mediums such as "Peer-to-Peer Data Sharing" between two or more devices, "Local Data Sharing" over a local wireless network, and a "Graphical User Interface" that can be provided to facilitate delivery, exchange or sharing of data.

In particular, Apple said the graphical user interface would assist a user of the mobile device in interacting with the mobile device. For example, the user interface would facilitate navigation of locally stored media as well as remotely stored media.

"The user interface could provide sharing controls," the company wrote. "These sharing controls would facilitate a user in sharing items with one or more other devices. For example, these sharing controls can enable a user to set preference settings and/or present or respond to dialogs for user interaction."



One preference setting would effectively allow a user to permit certain types of sharing. Another preference setting would provide a user dialog that requests permission to share media content with another user or mobile device.

Additionally, the graphical user interface could facilitate a history list or a shopping list. For example, a shopping list can be a virtual list that is maintained by a media device or a personal computer or a server for the benefit of a particular user.

"Typically, the user has a user account and the shopping list can be associated with that user account. A user of a device can interact with a user interface to add or remove items from the shopping list," Apple wrote. "The shopping list can be synchronized with various different devices associated with the user. Hence, the shopping list can be available from any of such devices. The shopping list can also facilitate ecommerce in that a purchase of items from the shopping list can be done in a simple and user-friendly manner."

The filing, which also covers "Remote Media Update" and "Multiple Access Point Discrimination" techniques, is credited to high-ranking Apple employees Stanley Ng, Andrew Hodge, Anthony Fadell, Jeffrey Robbin, Robert Borchers, Chris Bell, and Eddy Cue.
post #2 of 18
But why would you need this when you could just walk up to the girl and just shove the file in her face?
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Being an Apple basher means you never, ever have to acknowledge success.
Reply
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

Being an Apple basher means you never, ever have to acknowledge success.
Reply
post #3 of 18
This sounds exactly like Zune squirting... Surely Microsoft have prior art or a patent already?
post #4 of 18
Wireless sharing is a fantastic idea -- it was inevitable that Apple would do this.

The question is in the execution, and how it's done. If done right, the possibilities are endless. Not just for sharing music, but all kinds of information.

The problem with the Zune isn't the feature, it's (a) the rather draconian way in which it's been implemented - 3 plays/3 days is just too harsh. (3 plays /30 days should be more like it.) And (b) no one has a Zune you can share with anyway. D'oh.

[strike]I have to confess, though, that DRM-free music and wireless sharing between iPods & iPhones sound like a incredibly dangerous combo for the music industry. If this does indeed arrive in new iPods, and I was a major label, I'd sure as hell be leery of moving my catalog to iTunes Plus.[/strike]

Edit: Ah, I didn't examine the patent closely enough. It looks like iPods & iPhones will be able to *stream* content to other iPods & iPhones -- just like iTunes -- thus nicely avoiding the problem of overzealous sharing. Very smart.

edit 2 - p.s. how the heck do you do [strikethough] here?
post #5 of 18
Sounds like just a gimmick--and another Apple patent that won't truly ship.

But at least it would be a gimmick with SOME use since there ARE a lot of iPod & iPhone users and that's likely to remain true Unlike Zune sharing, which is useless since you never see a Zune in the wild. (Supposedly the iPhone has already outsold the Zune--which was out last year!)
post #6 of 18
squirt.

squirt.

"Hey, Maureen, I'm going to squirt that file at you now."

squirt.

squirt.

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by josa92 View Post

squirt.

squirt.

"Hey, Maureen, I'm going to squirt that file at you now."

squirt.

squirt.


Dang it! You just reminded me of Steve Ballmer squirting with his Zune... It took me WEEKS to get that image out of my head...
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by josa92 View Post

squirt.

squirt.

"Hey, Maureen, I'm going to squirt that file at you now."

squirt.

squirt.


I hope solipsism finally gets a chance to squirt.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamezog View Post

Steve Ballmer squirting

eeehh...

I going to gouge my eyes out..
post #10 of 18
Okay, I think this patent is considerably broader than just ipod/iphone/mac integration. Think about it. The iPhone (and the coming iPod) would make a superb remote control. Wifi chips are getting cheap. Once companies start seeing a viable reason to include wifi (or bluetooth) in their TV's, receivers, DVD players, etc., Apple would be in an excellent position to remove the entire concept of the "ten-foot interface" and instead make your entire den controllable from the ipod/iphone. Think about it. Your TV broadcasts it's available functions. You download a widget to your iPod that will directly interface those available functions. Hell, you could make spotlight integrate into this as well, so that you can search all equipment in bluetooth range.

Apple is out to make the boxes in your den just commodities, nameless, faceless boxes that you add and remove at will. The interface will never have to relearned, everything can operate in tandem. This would allow you to stop thinking of the equipment in your den as discreet entities, but rather things that operate in conjunction with each other. This would allow you to approach operating the den environment in a "modal" way. For instance, instead of using your TV remote, your receiver remote, and your DVD remote to watch a movie, iPhone would have a "watch DVD mode" that would take care off all this automatically, interfacing over wifi with all the equipment, automatically switching your receiver to DVD input, booting the DVD player, showing you all the avaiable cd's in your jukebox (via coverflow?). This patent is a trojan horse. Just watch.
post #11 of 18
Hoppin' on the oool' Zune bandwagon. Yup.
post #12 of 18
Isn't this just BlueTooth, with an easier to use interface? I really don't see the significance. My SE can already do all that with BlueTooth.
post #13 of 18
The article comes across as a severe misinterpretation of the quotes. Sounds more to me like you'd walk into a sports bar and automagically get links to scores, media streams, etc. for your favorite sports teams. The rest of it just sounds like (usually Bluetooth) Personal Area Networks (PANs) with device/service discovery.

That Apple would be trying to patent what Zune already does would be absurd. Then again, they seem to be in the habit of trying to patent/trademark a bunch of things that have already been said/done lately.

It all goes back to what they told me when I worked for a major player in the IT patent world, "you can't patent an idea, you can only patent the implementation of that idea." IMHO, we've got too many people trying to patent ideas these days, and the Patent Office is letting them get away with it.
post #14 of 18
Gentlemen, start your wiPods.

.
Cut-copy-paste, MMS, landscape keyboard, video-recording, voice-calling, and more... FINALLY
To the 'We Didn't Need It' Crowd/Apple Apologista Squad : Wrong again, lol
Thanks for listening to your...
Reply
Cut-copy-paste, MMS, landscape keyboard, video-recording, voice-calling, and more... FINALLY
To the 'We Didn't Need It' Crowd/Apple Apologista Squad : Wrong again, lol
Thanks for listening to your...
Reply
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by sockit2me View Post

The iPhone (and the coming iPod) would make a superb remote control. .

Maybe, but I'm unconvinced. If I'm remote controlling something, I'd prefer the remote to be pretty cheap and limited functionality. However - I do see some potential for this, especially if you have a limited TV interface for the AppleTV, linked with sophisticated 2-way interactivity for your show on an iRemote.. so maybe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fotek2001 View Post

This sounds exactly like Zune squirting...

I don't think so. For instance, this could simply be a goal of docking your iPod to your TV. There are 3 benefits/possibilities to this
1) charge the iPod
2) watch your iPod stuff on your TV (preferably with an AppleTV duplicate interface)
3) sync your iPod wirelessly or stream from any iTunes (ala AppleTV)
You would never need to plug your iPod into your computer again.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregAlexander View Post

Maybe, but I'm unconvinced. If I'm remote controlling something, I'd prefer the remote to be pretty cheap and limited functionality. However - I do see some potential for this, especially if you have a limited TV interface for the AppleTV, linked with sophisticated 2-way interactivity for your show on an iRemote.. so maybe



I don't think so. For instance, this could simply be a goal of docking your iPod to your TV. There are 3 benefits/possibilities to this
1) charge the iPod
2) watch your iPod stuff on your TV (preferably with an AppleTV duplicate interface)
3) sync your iPod wirelessly or stream from any iTunes (ala AppleTV)
You would never need to plug your iPod into your computer again.

They are talking about connecting two devices to through wireless network, so 1)charging iPod is sort of out of the question. And 2)connecting your iPod to your tv is still easier to do with cable, where the iPod could actually be charged.
When I read this patent I thought P2P Networking, and push mode services. iPhones are constantly in network, so I.e. Software updates could be pushed to the devices, and when there were these new iPods with in the vicinity, iPhone could push the upgrade to them as well, quick and fast way to transfer changes. It could also be used to viral marketing, I.e. when you enter a club, you could get a message, that your device tries to push forward to other peers around it for a certain limited time. Or in bars there could be closed circuit band promos, where people could stream some bands new album through P2P network, as long as they were interconnected to some identification sever over this same P2P network.
Naturally this had to be very closed system, because chances of security catastrophe were enormous. iPhones could be serving internet bandwidth to other devices as well, because everyone has unlimited data anyways it doesn't cost the owner anything besides battery life to allow this. So if you were surfing with your iPhone and there wasn't open wifi base station near. You had to use this limited GSM data channel. If there was another iPhone near, that had unused bandwidth, you could sort of roam through it's channel as well. Same could go with iPods but naturally they would just be leeching bandwidth. And naturally this does also enable squirting, but that's sort of by product here.
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Project2501 View Post

They are talking about connecting two devices to through wireless network, so
1)charging iPod is sort of out of the question. And
2)connecting your iPod to your tv is still easier to do with cable, where the iPod could actually be charged.

Okay... but you're not disagreeing with anything I've said.

Just because Apple is applying for this patent doesn't mean it's trying to squirt. It could simply be for wireless sync, initiated from the iPod/Phone.

As you note - you HAVE to charge your phone, and TV connection has to have a cable somewhere. I'm just saying that a TV dock with wireless syncing might mean you never plug your iPod into your computer again.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Project2501 View Post

When I read this patent I thought P2P Networking, and push mode services. iPhones are constantly in network, so I.e. Software updates could be pushed to the devices, and when there were these new iPods with in the vicinity, iPhone could push the upgrade to them as well, quick and fast way to transfer changes. It could also be used to viral marketing, I.e. when you enter a club, you could get a message, that your device tries to push forward to other peers around it for a certain limited time. Or in bars there could be closed circuit band promos, where people could stream some bands new album through P2P network, as long as they were interconnected to some identification sever over this same P2P network.
Naturally this had to be very closed system, because chances of security catastrophe were enormous.

All possible - though not indicated by the patent. In fact, this kind of relay system and viral marketing is far beyond what the patent describes, and if the patent meant this they'd say it.

The idea is very interesting. I'd particularly like an 'emergency' button which relays via other phones when my phone is out of range. Or possibly a simple SMS relay.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Project2501 View Post

iPhones could be serving internet bandwidth to other devices as well, because everyone has unlimited data anyways it doesn't cost the owner anything besides battery life to allow this.

Doesn't cost Apple or the user. Cost's AT&T lots. Not going to happen
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamezog View Post

Dang it! You just reminded me of Steve Ballmer squirting with his Zune... It took me WEEKS to get that image out of my head...

I just love that Ballmer is a totally incompetent spokesman for all things Microsoft. And unintentionally hilarious, often.

May he reign as MS CEO for decades to come.

.
Cut-copy-paste, MMS, landscape keyboard, video-recording, voice-calling, and more... FINALLY
To the 'We Didn't Need It' Crowd/Apple Apologista Squad : Wrong again, lol
Thanks for listening to your...
Reply
Cut-copy-paste, MMS, landscape keyboard, video-recording, voice-calling, and more... FINALLY
To the 'We Didn't Need It' Crowd/Apple Apologista Squad : Wrong again, lol
Thanks for listening to your...
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPod + iTunes + AppleTV › Future Apple iPods, iPhones may talk to each other