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

 
AAPL
$101.63
Apple Inc.
-0.03
MSFT
$46.24
Microsoft Corpora
-0.46
GOOG
$573.10
Google Inc.
-2.52

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

OS X Yosemite 10.10 DP8 - Developer Prev...
Note: This is a Developer Preview. You must be a registered Apple Mac Developer to download this update. You can also sign up for the free OS X Beta Program to download and preview public beta... Read more
FotoMagico 4.5 - Powerful slideshow crea...
FotoMagico lets you create professional slideshows from your photos and music with just a few, simple mouse clicks. It sports a very clean and intuitive yet powerful user interface. High image... Read more
Screenshot Path 1.2.1 - Change the defau...
Screenshot Path lets you change the folder where OS X saves screenshots. Screenshots are saved by default to the user’s desktop. This is handy for the occasional screenshot but those looking to take... Read more
Fantastical 1.3.16 - Create calendar eve...
Fantastical is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event details... Read more
GIMP 2.8.14 - Powerful, free image editi...
GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching,... Read more
HoudahSpot 3.9.3 - Advanced front-end fo...
HoudahSpot is an advanced file search tool built upon MacOS X Spotlight. Spotlight unleashed Create detailed queries to locate the exact file you need Narrow down searches. Zero in on files Save... Read more
djay 4.2.3 - Transform your Mac into a f...
djay transforms your Mac into a full-fledged DJ system, allowing you to mix your iTunes music library on a hyper-realistic turntable interface. Perform live, record mixes on-the-go, or enable... Read more
iDefrag 2.2.8 - Disk defragmentation and...
iDefrag helps defragment and optimize your disk for improved performance. Features include: Supports HFS and HFS+ (Mac OS Extended). Supports case sensitive and journaled filesystems. Supports... Read more
Bookends 12.2.3 - Reference management a...
Bookends is a full-featured bibliography/reference and information-management system for students and professionals. Access the power of Bookends directly from Mellel, Nisus Writer Pro, or MS Word (... Read more
Copy 1.47.0410 - Cloud storage and file...
Note: You must first sign up to use Copy (get a 5GB sign-up bonus through our 'Download' link above). Copy lets you sync, protect, and share. Everywhere. Want to bring some files home? No problem!... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

The Sleeping Prince Review
The Sleeping Prince Review By Jennifer Allen on September 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: RESTRICTIVE KINGDOM SAVINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Sleeping Prince looks and feels great to play, but its lack of peril and... | Read more »
It Came From Canada: Terra Battle
In some way or another, most Japanese RPGs owe something to Final Fantasy. But with Terra Battle, the now-common mix of Western medieval fantasy with Eastern anime aesthetic feels earned. After all, its developer, Mistwalker, was founded by the... | Read more »
Five Nights at Freddy’s Review
Five Nights at Freddy’s Review By Rob Thomas on September 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FIVE FRIGHTS AT FREDDY'SUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Can you survive five nights as the new night watchman of Freddy Fazbear’s... | Read more »
Phantom Rift Review
Phantom Rift Review By Nadia Oxford on September 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FRIENDLY PHANTOMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite a snag here and there, Phantom Rift is a well-crafted and imaginative adventure RPG.   | Read more »
Phantom Rift – Tips, Tricks, Strategies,...
Hello, Wanderers: | Read more »
Meet the Newest Character for Temple Run...
Meet the Newest Character for Temple Run 2, from National Geographic Kids’ Action-Adventure Book Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 15th, 2014 [ | Read more »
Battle Riders Review
Battle Riders Review By Jordan Minor on September 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: UNTWISTED METALUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad BattleRiders has cool car combat, but it could be crazier.   | Read more »
Rapture - World Conquest (Games)
Rapture - World Conquest 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The End is coming! Bombard the globe with devastating miracles and decimate the enemy civilizations. Guide your... | Read more »
Toonia Jelly: Music Review
Toonia Jelly: Music Review By Amy Solomon on September 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: CUTE MUSICAL EXPLORATIONUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Toonia Jelly: Music is a charming exploratory app for young children with a... | Read more »
CounterSpy Review
CounterSpy Review By Lee Hamlet on September 15th, 2014 Our Rating: :: AN EXCELLENT PORTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Shaken or stirred, CounterSpy is simply the best stealth action game to sneak its way onto the App... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

10% off iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Otterbox cases
Get 10% off on popular Otterbox iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus cases at MacMall through September 19th. Use code OTTERBOX10 to see the discount. Read more
15-inch MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 o...
Amazon has the new 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $125 off MSRP including free shipping: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1899.99 save $100 - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $2374... Read more
27-inch 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1698, $101 o...
Abt has the 27″ 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1698 including free shipping. Their price is $101 off MSRP. Read more
More To Making A Larger iPad Than Expanded Sc...
CNET’s Ross Rubin has posted a thoughtful analysis of prospects for a larger display iPad Pro, noting that Microsoft and Samsung currently have the large-display touchscreen tablet category to... Read more
SwiftKey Keyboard Finally Coming To iPhone An...
At the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco, Swiftkey unveiled the first details about SwiftKey Keyboard for iPhone, iPad & iPod touch. SwiftKey’s philosophy is that you should be able to... Read more
Save $75 on the 16GB iPad mini with Retina Di...
Best Buy has the 16GB iPad mini with Retina Display on sale for $324.99 on their online store for a limited time. Their price is $75 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this mini.... Read more
21-inch 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $979, $120 of...
B&H Photo has the new 21″ 1.4GHz iMac on sale for $979.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. B&H will also include free copies of Parallels Desktop... Read more
Apple restocks refurbished 21-inch 1.4GHz iMa...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 21″ 1.4GHz iMacs for $929 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is $170 off the cost of new models,... Read more
13-inch 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pro on sa...
Adorama has the 13″ 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1379 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for... Read more
Macally iPhone 6 Cases
Macally has introduced a Line of Snap-On Shell Cases, Frame Bumper Cases and a Rugged Protective Case for iPhone 6 with 4.7inch Screen, such as the SNAP case in a variety of brilliant metallic... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.