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Apple patents iPod speaker design, wireless ordering, new DRM

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Apple Inc. has been active filing patents for new technologies that could integrate into its product line, including a possible revival of the iPod Hi-Fi, wireless device ordering and lockdowns, and a new network-based anti-piracy scheme.

iPod Boombox

Although Apple was forced by poor sales to pull the iPod Hi-Fi from store shelves in September, a new US patent published on Thursday shows the electronics maker still exploring its own speaker accessories.

Named the iPod Boombox in the patent and in earlier trademarks, the audio system borrows the shape of the now discontinued Hi-Fi but embeds a screen or control system at the front. In screen form, the change would allow the Boombox to play video from a docked iPod as well as sound.

A receiver on the front would also allow remote control alongside volume buttons on the top of the system.

As with most of Apple's patent filings, the company is not under obligation to use the technology even if the patent is later granted.

Apple's iPod Boombox patent drawing (courtesy of MacNN)

Wireless ordering and lockdown system

A second patent published the same day, for a wireless communication system, allows for special transactions to occur when an Apple device comes in contact with wireless networks.

In the new implementation, a handheld or similar hardware automatically identifies itself to the local network, triggering an order to a remote system that queues up and processes requests based on their priority. The technique could be used to notify a device user exactly when coffee is ready at a restaurant or push ads in certain locations, Apple explains in one example.

The description bears some similarity to Apple's Starbucks service, which automatically cues a Starbucks option on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iTunes program when its user is connected to a hotspot run by the coffee shop.

However, the invention may also be used to remotely shut down a device, the company says. In the event the equipment is lost or stolen and either Apple or another organization is aware of the incident, the hardware identifier could be used to warn any unwanted owners or lock the device outright, preventing data theft and encouraging its return.

The patent appears to address concerns raised by large businesses, which have been told to avoid the iPhone by analysts due to the lack of remote administration present on RIM BlackBerries, Palm Treos, and most other work-oriented smartphones.

Code injection anti-piracy system

One of Apple's additional patents revealed on Thursday focuses only on software, according to a report from MacRumors.

Dubbed a Run-Time Code Injection to Perform Checks, the software patent would let a program's developer trigger the installation of new code that approves the use of a program with the user's hardware. If the hardware changes, the code could disable a given copy even after it has been approved elsewhere.

Copy protection could thus be in place without relying on hardware dongles or other local copy protection systems, many of which are largely ineffective, Apple says.

The anti-piracy method can potentially run every time a program is active and appears to vary sharply from Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage, which is usually only invoked upon installing a new program or specific software updates.

Auto-shutdown system for handhelds, Macs

Lastly, an additional patent for a host device shutdown system could aid Apple's reputation for environmental friendliness while aiding users.

Software on both a host computer and a portable device, such as an iMac and an iPod, could be set to automatically sleep or shut down either system when certain conditions are met, such as a full battery. Owners could leave a system running overnight to charge an iPod knowing that it would shut off on its own while also preventing the attached device from continuing to draw unnecessary power.
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The patent appears to address concerns raised by large businesses, which have been told to avoid the iPhone by analysts due to the lack of remote administration present on RIM BlackBerries, Palm Treos, and most other work-oriented smartphones.

I can understand why an overly configurable 'open' device can be tied in knots and will need a tech to straighten it out but given the original iPhone release is still closed why is lack of remote admin an issue?

Maybe Analysts should stick to making unrealistic observations than giving bad advice

McD
Android proves (as Windows & VHS did before it) that if you want to control people, give us choices and the belief we're capable of making them. We're all 'living' the American dream.
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Android proves (as Windows & VHS did before it) that if you want to control people, give us choices and the belief we're capable of making them. We're all 'living' the American dream.
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post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by McDave View Post

I can understand why an overly configurable 'open' device can be tied in knots and will need a tech to straighten it out but given the original iPhone release is still closed why is lack of remote admin an issue?

Maybe Analysts should stick to making unrealistic observations than giving bad advice

McD

This has nothing to do with the device being open or not, it is about data security. Anyone who gets their hands on your iphone will have access to your contacts, schedule, email, etc. Other smart phones have a way to remotely lock them and/or wipe the memory if they are lost.
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The software patent would let a program's developer trigger the installation of new code that approves the use of a program with the user's hardware. If the hardware changes, the code could disable a given copy even after it has been approved elsewhere...
The anti-piracy method can potentially run every time a program is active.

So if you replace your computer (or change out your hard drive or update your RAM?) you'll have to contact a hundred or more developers to get them to unlock the software you bought? This is nuts.
post #5 of 18
Regarding iPod Boombox news: Apple answered a prayer. Good.
" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
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" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
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post #6 of 18
Apple should stay out of the speaker business. Wasn't the last overpriced embarrassment enough?
post #7 of 18
I walked into Currys the other day (it's a electronics store in the UK), and found a product that looked just like the old iPod hi-fi selling for £100 by a company called "iwantit..."
post #8 of 18
I really like the idea of my iPod shutting down as soon as it is charged.
iMac 20",Core2Duo 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, ATI RADEON 2600Pro
iPod classic 80GB
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iMac 20",Core2Duo 2.4GHz, 4GB RAM, ATI RADEON 2600Pro
iPod classic 80GB
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post #9 of 18
pardon my yawn.

If it comes with wireless speakers you can detach and relocate around the room, maybe. Oh wait, that's the Griffin Technology Evolve...
post #10 of 18
Quote:
remote administration present on...Palm Treos

Really? Since when? Do tell.

The Palm OS was last updated in, like, 1986. It can barely function as a contact manager.
post #11 of 18
The problem with the boom box is the docking on the top.

Looks absolutely ridiculous, forces you to have clearance over top (cant put on shelf) and makes it completely unportable.

A flip door on the front that locks the ipod in place but allowing access to the controls would be more logical.
post #12 of 18
This patent clearly illustrates that Apple and Starbucks are brewing more than coffee. Or does anyone think they're building out a major wifi intrastructure just to sell a few tunes?

See: http://www.iSights.org/2007/12/order-coffee-fr.html
post #13 of 18
If Microsoft had brought up this DRM scheme the board would have already gone apeshit crazy.
proud resident of a failed state
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proud resident of a failed state
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post #14 of 18
Okay, how about a cheap gps unit and the ability to for the OWNER to lockdown any Apple device if stolen. Make it a .mac function so that it pays for itself and you have the first line of "theft proof" devices on the market.
The Mother of all flip-flops!!
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The Mother of all flip-flops!!
Support our troops by educating yourself and being a responsible voter. Democracy and Capitalism REQUIRE Intelligence and Wisdom if they are to be worth a damn beyond...
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post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

If Microsoft had brought up this DRM scheme the board would have already gone apeshit crazy.

What does it mean?

Licensing of OSX? Doesn't the current DRM Apple uses utilize hardware to work? Wouldn't the new software DRM be a way (at least theorectically) to start licensing OSX?
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by groverat View Post

If Microsoft had brought up this DRM scheme the board would have already gone apeshit crazy.

"If if's and buts were candy and nuts"

I don't find Windows Genuine Advantage annoying on the merit of it being DRM I find it annoying in that it's not transparent.

I doubt smaller apps would use this. I'm thinking more like Apple Pro apps that tend to get bootlegged a lot.
He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
- SolipsismX
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post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I don't find Windows Genuine Advantage annoying on the merit of it being DRM I find it annoying in that it's not transparent.
.

Seems to me the real problem with WGA is that it doesn't work like its supposed to.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by freeny View Post

The problem with the boom box is the docking on the top.
...

I guess it is a matter of taste, so we can't solve the problem here. Mine looks
pretty good, though. I really love the concept of the iPod Hifi (Boombox as a throne, cradle,
you get the picture.) I think 350,- Euros was quite a price tag, 299,- would have been
okay too. . The overall sound experience is okay (there is room for improvements, however).
The new iPod W/Hifi should utilize decent tweeter, homework done.

Quote:
..., forces you to have clearance over top (cant put on shelf) and makes it completely unportable.

This is way over the top, is it not?
" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
Reply
" I will not commit anything to memory that I can get from another source . . . "
ALBERT EINSTEIN
Reply
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