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MS patent leads to advanced phone, Zune car docks

updated 05:05 pm EDT, Thu May 24, 2007

MS Car Dock Patent

Microsoft is clearing the way for a unique two-way docking stereo for cars, according to a US patent granted to the company earlier this week. Simply referring to a "portable computing device-integrated appliance," the patent allows for a handheld device to dock directly with a car stereo or similar head-end unit to share its media. More important, Microsoft notes, is the ability for the device itself to send information to the stereo: docking the device could change its display to serve as a replacement for the stereo's native interface, controlling both its own local files as well as those on the stereo. Using the handheld this way would take away the clutter of an external docking cradle, Microsoft says; though unstated, it would also let owners guard against thieves by removing the main screen and even storage for the stereo.

The patent primarily includes PDAs and smartphones in its patent, suggesting that the immediate intent is to use the technology for Windows Mobile devices rather than media players. However, the patent is generic enough to include most any "handheld computer," according to Microsoft's definition. This could include the Zune and other jukeboxes, which could use the advancement through a software update.

Microsoft's closest real-world application of the patent includes its Sync initiative, which will see special stereos integrate with supporting devices through Bluetooth or USB. However, Sync doesn't appear to address integration of the portable within the stereo itself and ultimately points to a Sync successor or a newer platform altogether. [via CrunchGear]

by MacNN Staff




  1. phillymjs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    So now your car stereo can crash, too!

    Seriously, I thought the patent office was going to stop granting obvious patents. Has anyone reading this *not* thought of a car stereo where you slide in an iPod like an 8-track tape? That's more or less what this is, and I would think that any stereo that did that would provide for full control of a connected iPod and mirroring of its display.

  1. chotty

    Joined: Dec 1969



    May the Zune Go the way of the 8-track tape deck as well.

  1. MrVent

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Big memory!!!

    I wanna get one for my Ford Mustang V6... I absolutely love my mustang. It rides very well, its gas mileage is decent (20-25mpg average). It is plenty fast, I can keep right up with any pre-1999 GT mustang, though I cannot beat them, I can surely make them sweat bullets for fear of being killed by a V6'er!!

    There is more to a Mustang than just time slip figures and HP ratings. Its all about and American heritage and mustang body kit. Its been around for 42 years!! How many imports can say that? A VERY fun car to drive, look at, and enjoy.

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