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Apple patents location-sensitive media

updated 05:45 pm EDT, Thu November 1, 2007

Location-sensitive media

Apple has filed a new patent that describes a method for delivering different digital media content depending on where the user is located. The system would use GPS technology to determine a physical location, but could also understand a virtual or assigned location. So, for instance, a user in the United States could be shown an album listing in English, while a user in Mexico could see the same album listing in Spanish, based on automatic GPS sensing. Per the patent description, data can include media content data that effectively specifies, describes, identifies, includes, or references particular media content (e.g., a song, a list of songs, a directory) to be presented at a particular physical location, region, area, space, etc.

The technology described in the patent has another especially interesting ramification. It could be used, for instance, with an iPod, to determine the distance between a downhill slope and and uphill slope, then play different music depending on whether the user is running up or downhill. Volume could also be adjusted based on the same location sensing.

Location types could also be assigned. For instance, if the user walks into a study hall, the volume of the device could be turned down and an audiobook played. When the user walks back out into the outdoors, volume is automatically turned back up and music resumes playing.

he technology described in the patent has another especially interesting ramification. It could be used, for instance, with an iPod, to determine the distance between a downhill slope and and uphill slope, then play different music depending on whether the user is running up or downhill. Volume could also be adjusted based on the same location sensing.

Location types could also be assigned. For instance, if the user walks into a study hall, the volume of the device could be turned down and an audiobook played. When the user walks back out into the outdoors, volume is automatically turned back up and music resumes playing.









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by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    This is patentable?

    What is new or clever or propriety about this? It is an obvious application of someone else's technology. This is a perfect example of how the Patent & Trademark Office under the last two administration is selling off the future to any corporation rich enough to pay the patent squatting filing fees.

  1. Clive

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Bollocks

    This is complete bollocks. People have been discussing this kind of thing for years - by way of updates to mobile phones in a locale.

    Such developments are widespread in web development - where pages may be polulated with local news or relevant selections based on the user's IP address (which can usually be relied upon to at least indicate which country they are in) - rather than a cookie that the user has set.

    You've also got road traffic services that update based on a car's location.

  1. Clive

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Plus

    Plus, there are plenty of web services that allow/disallow content based on the user's geographical location - from various indicators. For instance, Apple blocks purchases from the iTunes store based on geographic location.

  1. TheSnarkmeister

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Exactly!

    Perfect examples. So why is the Patent Office handing out claim stakes for such ridiculousness? Because in America the government is now selling off everything, including the future, to the highest bidder. It's not just time for a housecleaning, it is time for a new house.

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