Sunday, November 14, 2004

Apple files patent application for wireless iPod

In US Patent Application 20040224638, Apple describes a wireless iPod:
...the media player system pertains to a wireless media player system that includes a hand held media player capable of transmitting information over a wireless connection and one or more media devices capable of receiving information over the wireless connection.

If such a device comes to fruition, it could fill a large hole in Apple's iTunes offerings. Airport Express allows any home stereo with an audio input to stream music wirelessly directly from a computer with iTunes installed. However, it currently requires the user to interact with the computer in order to work. For example, just to skip a song, one must be at the computer.

Two potential solutions to this problem include:

1) An AirTunes remote control that can send and receive information to the computer that is streaming music to the Airport Express unit. The remote would need to be able to display which songs are on that computer in order to be relatively functional.
2) A wireless iPod that can house its own music and stream it directly to the Airport Express unit. This solution would not require a computer at all.

Of note is the fact that this patent application was filed well over a year ago, long before Airport Express was even announced. Also of note is the mention of devices for wireless video. It's clear that Airport Express is just the initial step in Apple's much larger plan to dominate our living rooms.

No comments: