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
$103.30
Apple Inc.
+0.80
MSFT
$45.09
Microsoft Corpora
-0.34
GOOG
$577.33
Google Inc.
+5.73

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

TextSoap 7.4.0 - Flexible text editing u...
TextSoap is for people who work with text. TextSoap effortlessly cleans up text from endlessly different formats. Wash away unwanted characters, spaces, tabs. Fix paragraphs with hard returns at the... Read more
NetShade 6.0.2 - Browse privately using...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0 - Copy, backup, an...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
pwSafe 3.1 - Secure password management...
pwSafe provides simple and secure password management across devices and computers. pwSafe uses iCloud to keep your password databases backed-up and synced between Macs and iOS devices. It is... Read more
StatsBar 1.8 - Monitor system processes...
StatsBar gives you a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the following areas of your Mac: CPU usage Memory usage Disk usage Network and bandwidth usage Battery power and health (MacBooks only)... Read more
Path Finder 6.5.5 - Powerful, award-winn...
Path Finder is a file browser that combines the familiar Finder interface with the powerful utilities and innovative features. Just a small selection of the Path Finder 6 feature set: Dual pane... Read more
QuarkXPress 10.2.1 - Desktop publishing...
With QuarkXPress, you can communicate in all the ways you need to -- and always look professional -- in print and digital media, all in a single tool. Features include: Easy to Use -- QuarkXPress is... Read more
Skype 6.19.0.450 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
VueScan 9.4.41 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Modern Combat 5 Gets a Major Multiplayer...
Modern Combat 5 Gets a Major Multiplayer Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD Review
Alien Creeps TD Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: EXPENSIVE DEFENSESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Alien Creeps TD would be a fun if unremarkable Tower Defense game, but its heavy focus on... | Read more »
The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review
The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: DARK YET ENTICINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s a little dark, in every sense of the word, but The Journey Down:... | Read more »
Function Space, a Social Network App for...
Function Space, a Social Network App for Science, Launches on iOS Posted by Ellis Spice on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Stupidfast – How Taylor Martinez Switche...
How do you make an Endless Running game more than just another Endless Running game? By adding real life prizes to it, of course! That’s the thinking behind StupidFast: a game designed for football enthusiasts, and the brainchild of former college... | Read more »
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: CASUAL RAIDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Combining simple combat with village building is a potent combination for... | Read more »
Treasure Tombs: Ra Deal Coming from Bulk...
Treasure Tombs: Ra Deal Coming from Bulkypix and Dark Tonic This Fall Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Dark Tonic and | Read more »
Pirate Bash Review
Pirate Bash Review By Nadia Oxford on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: BAD PIRATES, GOOD TIMESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Pirate Bash’s turn-based battles add an intriguing twist to a typical physics game.   | Read more »
Tiny Tower Vegas Review
Tiny Tower Vegas Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY DEVELOPMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Build a huge tower again but Vegas-style in Tiny Tower Vegas.   | Read more »
The Manhattan Project Review
The Manhattan Project Review By Andrew Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: ROCKET SCIENCEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Manhattan Project offers a great Euro-style gameplay experience, but it is totally... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished iPads available for up to $...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more
Are We Now In The Post-Post-PC Era?
A longtime and thoroughgoing laptop aficionado, I was more than a little dismayed by Steve Jobs’s declaration back in 2010 when he sprang the iPad on an unsuspecting world. that we’d entered a “post-... Read more
PC Outlook Improves, But 2014 Shipments Still...
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by -3.7 percent in 2014. To hat’s actually an improvement from the... Read more
IDC Lowers Tablet Sales Projections for 2014...
Following a second consecutive quarter of softer than expected demand, International Data Corporation (IDC) has lowered its worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 forecast for 2014 to 233.1 million units. The... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 21-inch 1.4GHz...
The Apple Store is now offering 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
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $300 on an iMac with Apple refurbi...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
The Rise of Phablets
Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, a businesses and technology consulting firm focused solely on the financial services industry, has released an infographic depicting the convergence of... Read more
Bad Driver Database App Allows Good Drivers t...
Bad Driver Database 1.4 by Facile Group is a new iOS and Android app that lets users instantly input and see how many times a careless, reckless or just plain stupid driver has been added to the... Read more
Eddy – Cloud Music Player for iPhone/iPad Fre...
Ukraine based CapableBits announces the release of Eddy, its tiny, but smart and powerful cloud music player for iPhone and iPad that allows users to stream or download music directly from cloud... 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
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.