Apple proposes iTunes kiosks for movie downloads on the go

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple has put some effort into conceptualizing a family of next-generation wireless iTunes kiosks that can be placed just about anywhere, allowing users of its portable products to load their devices with a new full-length movie or audio album during travel, in areas where wireless networks may be unavailable.



The concept turned up in a 19-page patent filing discovered by AppleInsider this week, which begins by outlining some of the common problems with conventional media distribution kiosks, namely that they require users to pair their media devices and portable products via a physical connection that could prove troublesome or damaging.



"The continuous engagement and disengagement of the media device connector may result in excessive wear and failure of the connector," Apple explains. "Also, because certain media distribution systems may be located in public places, a connector of the media distribution system may be exposed to tampering by users or excessive exposure to environmental conditions."



The company adds that using a traditional and open WiFi connection may be one alternative, but says this too presents a variety of problems, such as the potential for eavesdropping, hacking, and overloading when an excessive numbers of devices attempt to access the same wireless connection.



Apple's solution to this problem, and the core of its patent filing, is to therefore establish "a virtual physical connection" between the kiosk and media device, whereby the kiosk first has a means of determining the physical presence of the media device in its proximity and then establishes a wireless data channel with the media device.



The kiosks themselves would be tied into a two-prong distribution system that may include a local media server filled with popular media that users are most likely to purchase, such as new album and movie releases, thereby making them most readily accessible.







Supplementing the local media server would be a connection between the kiosk and the iTunes Store, which would provide broad access all the audio and video media available through the digital download service. Users could provide their iTunes login and password to download content they select using the keyboard and screen on the kiosk, or swipe their credit card to buy content that may be more readily accessible on the local media server.



These kiosks would be particularly useful for users who are traveling, don't have access to a wireless connection to access the iTunes Store, but wish to load their iPod, iPhone, computer, or tablet device with a movie or audio album before -- or even after -- boarding a flight, ship or train, Apple says.







"The media distribution system advantageously enables the distribution of media content to a media device via a [media distribution kiosk] residing in virtually any location such as an airport, hotel, stadium, train station, shopping mall, stores, planes, ships, public transportation vehicles, and the like," the company wrote in the filing. "Even a wireless media device may have limited or no access to a particular wireless service provider's data network in certain geographic areas or locations. Thus, a [media distribution kiosk] may enable the media device to access the media distribution system even where a wireless service provider's network is not available."



The Apple employee credited with the filing is Thomas Mavrakakis.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    sjgelmansjgelman Posts: 5member
    How about a link to the actual application or providing the application number, so we can look at it ourselves?



    As a patent attorney it drives me nuts when you guys do this. It's like you're trying to hide something.
  • Reply 2 of 58
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    are these like the vending machines in airports that sell ipods?
  • Reply 3 of 58
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sjgelman View Post


    How about a link to the actual application or providing the application number, so we can look at it ourselves?



    As a patent attorney it drives me nuts when you guys do this. It's like you're trying to hide something.



    I added it, chill out man. All you have to do is ask.



    K
  • Reply 4 of 58
    krreagankrreagan Posts: 218member
    "...but wish to load their iPod, iPhone, computer, or tablet device with a movie or audio album before..."



    Did Apple really mention a "tablet device"??? I know they exist outside of Apple but do you suppose this is a hint that Apple is working on a tablet?
  • Reply 5 of 58
    roc ingersolroc ingersol Posts: 145member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sjgelman View Post


    How about a link to the actual application or providing the application number, so we can look at it ourselves?



    I absolutely agree with you.



    But as a patent attorney, doesn't it take you all of 3 additional seconds to figure this out? (a quick "PD/05-07-2009 and AN/Apple" and look at that: 2009/0117846)



    And as a vaguely Apple-interested patent attorney -- not to mention one who's already frustrated with this behavior from AI -- shouldn't you have your own weekly watches for Apple's issued and published?



    Might save some aggravation.
  • Reply 6 of 58
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by krreagan View Post


    "...but wish to load their iPod, iPhone, computer, or tablet device with a movie or audio album before..."



    Did Apple really mention a "tablet device"??? I know they exist outside of Apple but do you suppose this is a hint that Apple is working on a tablet?



    They mentioned in the list of applicable devices a "Pocket-sized personal computers such as an iPAQ.RTM. Pocket PC available by Hewlett Packard Inc. , of Palo Alto, Calif. and any other device capable of communicating wirelessly (with or without the aid of a wireless enabling accessory system). " The patent would apply to any kind of portable computing device.



    K
  • Reply 7 of 58
    kasperkasper Posts: 941member, administrator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post


    I absolutely agree with you.



    But as a patent attorney, doesn't it take you all of 3 additional seconds to figure this out? (a quick "PD/05-07-2009 and AN/Apple" and look at that: 2009/0117846)



    And as a vaguely Apple-interested patent attorney -- not to mention one who's already frustrated with this behavior from AI -- shouldn't you have your own weekly watches for Apple's issued and published?



    Might save some aggravation.



    Didn't realize this was frustrating so many people. We'll link in the patents going forward.



    Sorry,



    K
  • Reply 8 of 58
    Apple's Answer to RedBox?
  • Reply 9 of 58
    bsolarbsolar Posts: 2member
    I recall a couple years ago someone, and it was possibly on some other site like this, made the comment that Apple should buy Blockbuster and place a kiosk in each one to sell video and audio, allowing a consumer to walk in and connect to the kiosk with their iPod and quickly download what they wanted. The other aspect of the idea was that it would be an outlet for Apple to install and deploy its server hardware and networking equipment in each store. The stores would have the inventory online and not need to performa remote download, thus making the process quick.



    If this idea is somehow being revived by Apple themselves, maybe they will have these kiosks in the Apple Stores and other retailers, airports, and who knows they might just consider buying up one of these brick and mortar video rental stores and replacing the shleves of videos with the Red Box DVD vending machines, you wouldn't need the floor space the traditional stores requires and all you would need is a single person to run the whole show.



    This is certainly an intersting idea nad piece of information from Apple.
  • Reply 10 of 58
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    why deal with all that overhead, BB is dead, local video will die slowly since now you can get a dvd from a kiosk at grocery stores and walmart. the problem? they have limited dvd and few in number at a busy store. BUT if connected to itunes store then you can get what ever you want

    a kiosk can only need to be the size of a atm, or just sign to tell you to connect your wifi for free and the home page lets you download. so the physical size can be nothing but signage.
  • Reply 11 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsolar View Post


    I recall a couple years ago someone, and it was possibly on some other site like this, made the comment that Apple should buy Blockbuster and place a kiosk in each one to sell video and audio, allowing a consumer to walk in and connect to the kiosk with their iPod and quickly download what they wanted. The other aspect of the idea was that it would be an outlet for Apple to install and deploy its server hardware and networking equipment in each store. The stores would have the inventory online and not need to performa remote download, thus making the process quick.



    If this idea is somehow being revived by Apple themselves, maybe they will have these kiosks in the Apple Stores and other retailers, airports, and who knows they might just consider buying up one of these brick and mortar video rental stores and replacing the shleves of videos with the Red Box DVD vending machines, you wouldn't need the floor space the traditional stores requires and all you would need is a single person to run the whole show.



    This is certainly an intersting idea nad piece of information from Apple.



    Apple would not partner or buy a "sinking ship" like Blockbuster.

    A more likely candidate would be Starbucks.



    According to wikipedia: "16,120 stores in 49 countries, including around 11,000 in the United States, followed by nearly 1,000 in Canada and more than 800 in Japan."
  • Reply 12 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post


    why deal with all that overhead, BB is dead, local video will die slowly since now you can get a dvd from a kiosk at grocery stores and walmart. the problem? they have limited dvd and few in number at a busy store. BUT if connected to itunes store then you can get what ever you want

    a kiosk can only need to be the size of a atm, or just sign to tell you to connect your wifi for free and the home page lets you download. so the physical size can be nothing but signage.



    I think the perfect interface would be a Microsoft Surface in every Starbucks. you can do the entire transaction and payment on a big ass box.
  • Reply 13 of 58
    sjgelmansjgelman Posts: 5member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post


    I absolutely agree with you.



    But as a patent attorney, doesn't it take you all of 3 additional seconds to figure this out? (a quick "PD/05-07-2009 and AN/Apple" and look at that: 2009/0117846)



    And as a vaguely Apple-interested patent attorney -- not to mention one who's already frustrated with this behavior from AI -- shouldn't you have your own weekly watches for Apple's issued and published?



    Might save some aggravation.



    Sure, I could look it up myself, but I didn't write the article. I figure that would be basic info to include.



    And I did have a site up for about 8 months or so about Apple patents (the now-defunct appleipwatch.info). It took way too much time (since I only worked on that after regular work hours) and it was barely read.
  • Reply 14 of 58
    bloggerblogbloggerblog Posts: 1,775member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    Apple's Answer to RedBox?



    iTunes is better than RedBox in that you can immediately get your movie from home (Computer, Apple TV), but still RedBox costs only $1
  • Reply 15 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Roc Ingersol View Post


    I absolutely agree with you.



    Dude! I totally love your name! Are you an action hero? Your name certainly qualifies you.
  • Reply 16 of 58
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post


    iTunes is better than RedBox in that you can immediately get your movie from home (Computer, Apple TV), but still RedBox costs only $1



    And with the help of our friends at Handbrake you can archive it for future reference.
  • Reply 17 of 58
    istinkistink Posts: 250member
    I'm not immediately seeing the benefits of these kiosks.



    This would be so people could just stop in at a 7-11 or whatever and buy a cd to load up onto their ipod or zune? Or perhaps a movie for their notebook?



    I'm sure it would produce revenue, so there's no reason not to I guess. It would be like a movie and music ATM lol.
  • Reply 18 of 58
    bsolarbsolar Posts: 2member
    I don't disagree that BB might not be the right target, and Starbucks would be better. The point I was making is that with the hardware capabilities and marketing savy of Apple, they could put a whole new spin on movie rentals. Bring in your iPod or iPhone rent a movie and play it on your TV at home. The era of large square footage retialing of movies and music is over. In my opinion.
  • Reply 19 of 58
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,576member
    Wow, what a weird idea. So physical... so 80's... If these media centers have all sorts of digital content like digital books for sony e-readers and Kindles as well, they may be more useful. Seems like a lot of investment for not that many sales - or maybe people will queue up to buy. I just don't see it, somehow. Specially not at a shopping mall. Who brings their laptops to the mall?



    A vending machine which loads up a cheap usb drive - provided by the machine, or to a usb drive plugged in by the user might be a better idea. Then you can bring the media home and load it onto the device of your choice.



    Also, and most importantly for me, unless the thing offers movies for rent it is useless. Why would I buy a movie?
  • Reply 20 of 58
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    I think the perfect interface would be a Microsoft Surface in every Starbucks. you can do the entire transaction and payment on a big ass box.



    ... covered in coffee stains...



    I can't really see what this offered that's different from a Wifi point and iTunes (on the iPhone/iPod Touch). If you have to actually dock with it, I can see some benefits, but then Apple would need to sort out syncing from multiple computers to one device - something I'd really like.
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