Patent hints at better iOS/accessory authentication
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Patent hints at better iOS/accessory authentication

Improved techniques to control utilization of accessory devices with electronic devices are disclosed in a new Apple patent (number 20110061113) at the US Patent & Trademark. The invention relates to electrical devices and, more particularly, to electrical devices, such as media players, that receive accessory devices.

Per the patent, the improved techniques can use cryptographic approaches to authenticate electronic devices, namely, electronic devices that interconnect and communicate with one another. One aspect pertains to techniques for authenticating an electronic device, such as an accessory device. Another aspect pertains to provisioning software features (e.g., functions) by or for an electronic device (e.g., a host device). Different electronic devices can, for example, be provisioned differently depending on different degrees or levels of authentication, or depending on manufacturer or product basis. Still another aspect pertains to using an accessory (or adapter) to convert a peripheral device (e.g., USB device) into a host device (e.g., USB host).

The improved techniques are particularly well suited for electronic devices, such as media devices, that can receive accessory devices. One example of a media device is a media player, such as a hand-held media player (e.g., music player), that can present (e.g., play) media items (or media assets). The inventors are Jonathan Jake Rubenstein, Anthony M. Fadell, Jesse L. Dorogusker, Mitchell Adler and John Wesley Archibald.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "A media player stores media assets, such as audio tracks or photos, that can be played or displayed on the media player. One example of a media player is the iPod. media player, which is available from Apple Computer, Inc. of Cupertino, Calif. Often, a media player acquires its media assets from a host computer that serves to enable a user to manage media assets. As an example, the host computer can execute a media management application to manage media assets. One example of a media management application is iTunes, version 4.2, produced by Apple Computer, Inc.

"A media player typically includes one or more connectors or ports that can be used to interface to the media player. For example, the connector or port can enable the media player to couple to a host computer, be inserted into a docking system, or receive an accessory device. There are today many different types of accessory devices that can interconnect to the media player. For example, a remote control can be connected to the connector or port to allow the user to remotely control the media player. As another example, an automobile can include a connector and the media player can be inserted onto the connector such that an automobile media system can interact with the media player, thereby allowing the media content on the media player to be played within the automobile.

"Currently, the connectors or ports of a media player are open for use so long as a compatible connector or port is utilized. Consequently, numerous third-parties have developed accessory devices for use with other manufacturers' media players. One difficulty is that the manufacturer of a media player has no control over the various different accessory devices that can be connected to the media player. This is problematic because third-party accessory devices may be inferior, error-prone, disruptive (e.g., resource draining), or even damaging to the media player itself. Another problem is that third-party accessory devices which are unauthorized by the manufacturer of the media device may attempt to utilize features of the media device in an inappropriate or undesired manner.

"Thus, there is a need for improved techniques to enable manufacturers of electronic devices to control the nature and extent to which accessory devices can be utilized with their electronic devices.

"Broadly speaking, the invention pertains to improved techniques to control utilization of accessory devices with electronic devices. The improved techniques can use cryptographic approaches to authenticate electronic devices, namely, electronic devices that interconnect and communicate with one another.

"One aspect of the invention pertains to techniques for authenticating an electronic device, such as an accessory device. Another aspect of the invention pertains to provisioning software features (e.g., functions) by or for an electronic device (e.g., a host device). Different electronic devices can, for example, be provisioned differently depending on different degrees or levels of authentication, or depending on manufacturer or product basis. Still another aspect of the invention pertains to using an accessory (or adapter) to convert a peripheral device (e.g., USB device) into a host device (e.g., USB host). Embodiments of the invention may pertain to one or more of these aspects or other aspects disclosed herein.

"The invention can be implemented in numerous ways, including as a method, system, device, apparatus (including graphical user interface), or computer readable medium. Several embodiments of the invention are discussed below.

"As a portable electronic device, one embodiment of the invention includes at least: a media storage device that stores media content for one or more media items; a media presentation module that retrieves media content for at least one of the media items from the media storage and causes the media content to be presented for a user of the portable electronic device; an authentication table that stores authentication information for various accessory devices that are authorized to couple to and interact with the portable electronic device; and an authentication module that determines whether a particular accessory device that is coupled to the portable media device is authorized to interoperate with the portable electronic device based on at least a portion of the authentication information stored in the authentication table.

"As an accessory device for a portable electronic device, one embodiment of the invention includes at least: an input/output port for interacting with the portable electronic device; an authentication algorithm; an authentication key associated with the accessory device; an authentication controller, operatively connected to the input/output port, for performing authentication operations using at least the authentication algorithm and the authentication key; and accessory circuitry that performs operations associated with the accessory device.

"As a connector for connecting an accessory device to a media player, one embodiment of the invention includes at least: a connector body; a plurality of electrical contacts attached within the connector body and serving to provide electrical connections between the accessory device and the media player; and a controller disposed in the connector body and providing an authentication key that allows the accessory device to be authenticated by the media player.

"As a method for authorizing an accessory device for use with an electronic device, one embodiment of the invention includes at least the acts of: receiving a device identifier from the accessory device; receiving an authentication value from the accessory device; determining whether the accessory device is authentic based on the authentication value; and authorizing usage of the accessory device with the electronic device when it is determined that the accessory device is authentic.

"As a method for authorizing an accessory device for use with an electronic device, another embodiment of the invention includes at least the acts of: detecting attachment of the accessory device with the electronic device; sending a random number to the accessory device after attachment of the accessory device has been detected; subsequently receiving an encoded value from the accessory device; receiving a device identifier from the accessory device; obtaining a cryptographic key based on the device identifier; decoding the encoded value using the cryptographic key to produce a decoded value; determining whether the decoded value corresponds to the random number; and authorizing usage of the accessory device with the electronic device when it is determined that the decoded value corresponds to the random number.

"As a method for authorizing an accessory device for use with an electronic device, still another embodiment of the invention includes at least the acts of: detecting attachment of the accessory device with the electronic device; sending an authentication request, including at least a random number, to the accessory device after attachment of the accessory device has been detected; subsequently receiving an authentication response from the accessory device, the authentication response being in response to the authentication request, and the authentication response including at least an encoded value and a device identifier for the accessory device; obtaining a cryptographic key based on the device identifier; decoding the encoded value using the cryptographic key to produce a decoded value; and authorizing usage of the accessory device with the electronic device based on a correspondence between the decoded value and the random number.

"As a method for authorizing an accessory device for use with an electronic device, still yet another embodiment of the invention includes at least the acts of: receiving a random number from the electronic device; encoding the random number using a cryptographic key provided within the accessory device, thereby producing an encoded value; and sending the encoded value and a device identifier to the electronic device.

"As a method for controlling interaction between a media player and an accessory device, one embodiment of the invention includes at least the acts of: determining a classification of the accessory device; identifying an authorization level for the accessory device; and selectively activating features of the media device that are available to be used in conjunction with the accessory device based on the classification and authorization level of the accessory device.

"As a media player system, one embodiment of the invention includes at least: a media player storing media content and supporting a plurality of predetermined functions, and an accessory device capable of connecting to the media player. The media player and the accessory device interact to perform an authentication process and, based on the authentication process, specific functions of the media device are selectively activated and thus available for use by the accessory device.

"Other aspects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention."

-- Dennis Sellers

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

1Password 6.5.5 - Powerful password mana...
1Password is a password manager that uniquely brings you both security and convenience. It is the only program that provides anti-phishing protection and goes beyond password management by adding Web... Read more
Apple Remote Desktop Client 3.9 - Client...
Apple Remote Desktop Client is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end users, create detailed software and hardware reports... Read more
Art Text 3.2.2 - $49.99
Art Text is graphic design software specifically tuned for lettering, typography, text mockups and various artistic text effects. Supplied with a great variety of ready to use styles and materials,... Read more
WhatRoute 2.0.15 - Geographically trace...
WhatRoute is designed to find the names of all the routers an IP packet passes through on its way from your Mac to a destination host. It also measures the round-trip time from your Mac to the router... Read more
Sparkle 2.1.1 - $79.99
Sparkle will change your mind if you thought building websites wasn't for you. Sparkle is the intuitive site builder that lets you create sites for your online portfolio, team or band pages, or... Read more
Dash 4.0.1 - Instant search and offline...
Dash is an API documentation browser and code snippet manager. Dash helps you store snippets of code, as well as instantly search and browse documentation for almost any API you might use (for a full... Read more
TextSoap 8.3.2 - Automate tedious text d...
TextSoap can automatically remove unwanted characters, fix up messed up carriage returns, and do pretty much anything else that we can think of to text. Save time and effort. Be more productive. Stop... Read more
Apple Remote Desktop 3.9 - Remotely cont...
Apple Remote Desktop is the best way to manage the Mac computers on your network. Distribute software, provide real-time online help to end users, create detailed software and hardware reports, and... Read more
Paragraphs 1.1.4 - Writing tool just for...
Paragraphs is an app just for writers. It was built for one thing and one thing only: writing. It gives you everything you need to create brilliant prose and does away with the rest. Features... Read more
Amazon Chime 4.0.5528 - Amazon-based com...
Amazon Chime is a communications service that transforms online meetings with a secure, easy-to-use application that you can trust. Amazon Chime works seamlessly across your devices so that you can... Read more

Blasty Bubs is a colorful Pinball and Br...
QuickByte Games has another arcade treat in the works -- this time it's a mishmash of brick breaking and Pinball mechanics. It's called Blasty Bubs, and it's a top down brickbreaker that has you slinging balls around a board. [Read more] | Read more »
Corsola and Heracross are the new region...
Generation 2 finally launched in Pokémon GO, unleashing a brand new batch of Pokémon into the wild. Even before the update went live people were speculating on how to catch elusive Pokémon like the legendary "dogs", Unknown, and whether or not... | Read more »
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain (Games)
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: An epic adventure through a mysterious mountain filled with monsters, magic and mayhem! “...it looks downright... | Read more »
Fantasy MMORPG MU Origin’s receives a hu...
Developer Webzen are looking to take their highly popular fantasy battler MU Origin to the next level this month, with its most ambitious overhaul yet. The latest update introduces the long sought after Server Arena, new treasure dungeons, and much... | Read more »
RPG Djinn Caster (Games)
RPG Djinn Caster 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: SPECIAL PRICE 38% OFF(USD 7.99 -> USD 4.99)!!!A Fantasy Action RPG of far foreign lands! Summon the Djinns and rise to... | Read more »
Alto's Odyssey gets its first trail...
There's finally video evidence of Alto's Odyssey, the follow up to the 2015 App Store hit, Alto's Adventure. It looks just as soothing and atmospheric as Alto's last outing, but this time players will be journeying to the desert. Whereas Alto's... | Read more »
Last week on Pocket Gamer
What’s going on in the wider world of portable gaming? Each week we ask that question of our sister website Pocket Gamer. The PG team covers iOS gaming, just like 148Apps, but it also strays into the world of Android games and handheld consoles... | Read more »
Pokémon GO Generation 2 evolution guide
At long last, Niantic Labs finally unleashed the Generation 2 Pokémon into the wild. Pokémon GO trainers are scrambling to grab up this new set of 80 Pokémon. There are some special new tricks required to catch all of these new beasties, though.... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week
It feels as though the New Year got off to a creaking start as far as mobile games go, but that's changed over the past few weeks. The last few days alone have seen the debut of a number of wonderful games, so we thought we'd take the time to... | Read more »
Recruit more scallywags and discover new...
Get ready to show off your sea legs all over again in Oceans & Empires’ new grand update, which aims to make the act of rising to the role of seven seas ruler even more fresh and appealing, thanks to a richness of new content on both iOS and... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple’s New iPad Ads Don’t Address Pro Users’...
Apple launched a new tranche of iPad Pro TV ads last week addressing actual queries and challenges from the Twitterverse, albeit using actors for the visuals. That’s great. As an iPad fan and heavy... Read more
Free Verbum Catholic Bible Study App For iOS
The Verbum mobile app runs on Logos’ powerful Bible software and is an advanced resource for mobile Catholic study. The Verbum app surrounds the Bible with the Tradition. Verbum comes with 15 free... Read more
27-inch Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 of...
B&H Photo has 27″ Apple iMacs on sale for up to $200 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 27″ 3.3GHz iMac 5K: $2099.99 $200 off MSRP - 27″ 3.2GHz/1TB Fusion iMac 5K: $... Read more
15-inch 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
Amazon has 2015 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pros (MJLQ2LL/A) available for $1849.99 including free shipping. Apple charges $1999 for this model, so Amazon’s price is represents a $150 savings. Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Air 2s available start...
Apple has Certified Refurbished iPad Air 2 WiFis available for starting at $319 including free shipping. A standard Apple one-year warranty is included: - 16GB iPad Air 2 WiFi: $319 $60 off original... Read more
Apple refurbished iPad Pros available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 9″ and 12″ Apple iPad Pros available for up to $160 off the cost of new iPads. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: - 32GB 9″... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 2015 and 2016 13-i...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 and 2016 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $759. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 2016 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (Apple refurbished...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros (MD101LL/A) available for $829, or $270 off original MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook... Read more
QuickerTek Announces 5TB Apple AC AirPort Tim...
QuickerTek Inc. has announced their new 5TB hard drive upgrade for Apple’s AC AirPort Time Capsule. By customer request, this upgrade also features six external antennas and offers the highest... Read more
Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available f...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
Manager *Apple* Systems Administration - Pu...
Req ID 3315BR Position Title Manager, Apple Systems Administration Job Description The Manager of Apple Systems Administration oversees the administration and Read more
*Apple* Technician - nfrastructure (United S...
Let’s Work Together Apple Technician This position is based in Portland, ME Life at nfrastructure At nfrastructure, we understand that our success results from our Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.