Filing reveals Apple-branded iPod auto dock

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple Computer may have plans to introduce its own version of a popular iPod accessory that allows users to secure the digital music player in a cup-holder cavity of an automobile, documents have revealed.



In a February filing with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Apple describes the "electronic device holder" as an "apparatus that can secure an electronic device and be inserted into a conventional cup holder. The cup holder, for example, is inside of an automobile."



Similar to Belkin's (US)$30 TuneDok, the Apple iPod dock employs adapting sleeves that fit around the base of the apparatus and can be used to adapt the device holder to cup holders of different sizes and shapes.



The base of the unit -- the part which gets inserted into the cup-holder -- includes a winding spool for managing the cable used to connect the iPod to an automobile's audio system. By contrast, the TuneDok uses a "desecrate cable-management clip."



Throughout the patent filing, Apple implies that the rudimentary dock design could be adapted to secure devices other than iPods. "The electronic device being held can be a variety of devices that include a digital music player," the filing states.



Matthew Rohrbach, an Apple employee residing in San Francisco, Calif. is credited with invention. Mr. Rohrbach's name has also appeared in earlier Apple hardware design patents. Most notably, he is credited for his part in the design of an Apple tablet computer system that was never brought to market.



Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    johnqjohnq Posts: 2,763member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleInsider

    By contrast, the TuneDok uses a "desecrate cable-management clip."



    Discrete too.
  • Reply 2 of 16
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleInsider

    Matthew Rohrbach, an Apple employee residing in San Francisco, Calif. is credited with invention.



    geez, i have got to start getting into the invention and patent-claiming business. it's a FRIGGIN' CUPHOLDER STAND for crying out loud.
  • Reply 3 of 16
    naknak Posts: 101member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rok

    geez, i have got to start getting into the invention and patent-claiming business. it's a FRIGGIN' CUPHOLDER STAND for crying out loud.



    Looks more like a toilet.
  • Reply 4 of 16
    "The electronic device being held can be a variety of devices that include a digital music player."





    That's interesting, another hint at an iTunes phones, or something else???
  • Reply 5 of 16
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ThinkDifferent

    "The electronic device being held can be a variety of devices that include a digital music player."





    That's interesting, another hint at an iTunes phones, or something else???




    No! Its for the new Apple universal remote control, so you can control your stereo, TV, DVD player, etc. This is going to rock!
  • Reply 6 of 16
    aquamacaquamac Posts: 585member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Nak

    Looks more like a toilet.



    Now I can sleep at night. A toilet for my electronic gizmos.
  • Reply 7 of 16
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Louzer

    No! Its for the new Apple universal remote control, so you can control your stereo, TV, DVD player, etc. This is going to rock!



    Nice! I will be able to control my stereo from my car!!
  • Reply 8 of 16
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rok

    geez, i have got to start getting into the invention and patent-claiming business. it's a FRIGGIN' CUPHOLDER STAND for crying out loud.



    Exactly my thoughts.



    Wait a minute. I think I will patent a device that works as a container for liquids like water, cola or beer. It should hold up to a pint of liquid and made of glass, so you can see if the container is dirty and the content of the container. it should be made with slightly declining sides so placed within each other it could save space placed in a cupboard.
  • Reply 9 of 16
    Ok, but what is it desecrating? The interior of your car?
  • Reply 10 of 16
    naknak Posts: 101member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AquaMac

    Now I can sleep at night. A toilet for my electronic gizmos.



    my ipod grins with joy
  • Reply 11 of 16
    jwink3101jwink3101 Posts: 739member
    I just don;t quite understand how Belkin's thingamajig isn't "prior art." I mean they have been selling it for a while. I hate Belkin with a passion (long story) but this still seems like thier invention.



    I wonder what the Belkin execs are thinking right now. I mean not only has belkin made some stuff that helped propel the ipod but they have been loyal.
  • Reply 12 of 16
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jwink3101

    I just don;t quite understand how Belkin's thingamajig isn't "prior art." I mean they have been selling it for a while. I hate Belkin with a passion (long story) but this still seems like thier invention.



    I wonder what the Belkin execs are thinking right now. I mean not only has belkin made some stuff that helped propel the ipod but they have been loyal.




    well, not sure who got this "invented" first, but griffin has also had a "molded piece of plastic which holds various forms of ipods or other devices of approximately the same size and weight oh WHY am i explaining this anymore?!?!?" thingamabob...



  • Reply 13 of 16
    skatmanskatman Posts: 609member
    An invention has to satisfy three major criteria to be patentable:



    1. Useful

    2. Novel

    3. Non trivial to a person reasonable skilled in the art



    I can see that number 1 holds, but to make number 2 and 3 hold, you don't need inventors, just good lawyers.
  • Reply 14 of 16
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,163member
    Apple's going down the wrong path here. It's nice to be able to hook your iPod to your auto stereo but I think people are wanting better integration.



    Apple's influence could suceed where companies like Phatnoice failed. Getting the large automakers to add iPod integration into the vehicle via a semi-permanent auto mount that is controlled by the factory deck.



    Eventually I'd love to see features like the Rockford OmniFi which has wireless access. I could see a smaller device that contains a wireless adapter and 2.5" drive that unlocks from the trunk in factory changer locations. Eventually the possiblity of video would be there.



    Newer car decks are integrated cleanly into the fascia, I think iPods using adapters are ok but not the best solution. There's potential here. This device that Apple is patenting already seems to exist for the most part via other companies. I'm hoping for a more progressive solution.
  • Reply 15 of 16
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Getting the large automakers to add iPod integration into the vehicle via a semi-permanent auto mount that is controlled by the factory deck.



    exactly. in a bit of retro flair, insert your ipod like a casette, only this casette could hold your entire library, pipe album artwork to the deck, and display song info on the screen. THAT'S intgration, not "here's a rubber stand for your cupholder with our logo on it... look how integrated it is now." about as bad as bmw's "integration" (i.e. firewire cable in your glove compartment).
  • Reply 16 of 16
    louzerlouzer Posts: 1,054member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    Apple's going down the wrong path here. It's nice to be able to hook your iPod to your auto stereo but I think people are wanting better integration.



    But the bigger question here would be whether the manufacturers would be able to integrate the iPod dock into their line (without Apple charging an arm and a leg, as you'd want to use the dock not just the headphone jack) and would they want to integrate a port/dock that's "non-standard" (i.e. only works with Apple's iPod, no other music player).



    After just integrating the dock, now they're stuck also writing driver software to drive the iPod from the car stereo. Either that or they need to dock it in such a way to make the iPod completely accessible to use its navigation features. But most drivers would prefer true integration (when driving, the radio controls are generally used without concious effort or direct viewing, as opposed to the iPod). You'd want the 'next track' button you use for CDs to go to the next track on the iPod, fast forward to fast forward in the song, etc.



    To me, that seems like a lot of work and integration effort for the few people who (a) have an iPod, and (b) willing to shell out big bucks for a new radio deck in their car so they can have an 'integrated' solution. Of course, there may just be enough car-freaks (you know who you are, always washing the tires, adding more stuff inside for the sake of having more stuff inside!) to cover their costs. But I don't think the market's large enough to support a whole lot of different players here.
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