Apple Patents i-Product Anti Theft

Apple has filed a patent for an anti-theft feature which could make stolen i-Products paper weights. The patent essentially describes technology which would only allow an iPod or portable Mac to draw power from a nominated power adapter or device, reports New Scientist. The technology would allow enabled devices to detect when they're being synced or connected to an unauthorized recharging mechanism. When the device recognizes an unauthorized charging device it will refuse to recharge.

The theory is that should a thief make off with one of these devices they will find themselves unable to keep them charged-up for use. This move would also negatively affect the black market resale value of such stolen goods. "This should result in a significant reduction of crime against the lawful owners of such devices," Apple says in its patent filing.

News source: MacWorld.co.uk

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I think the only reason apple has done this is to screw over third party developers...They just want people to keep buying their high priced stuff. I was in an electronics store the other day, it is amazing how many addons and devices for the ipod; from third party developers there were.

And since third party sutff will most likely be cheaper than the apple original, people will keep buying it.

just my 2 cents...

If its implimented correctly then this is a great idea. A pin number idea seems the best one, then should you lose the charger you can buy another and simply put your pin into it. Of course there would be a need to have a "reset" should you lose both - but thats unlikley so Apple could just have a return to base policy on that, and the person(or persons) sending it in provide details like address/date of purchase ect - all of which are enough to put off any criminal that stole an ipod to make a quick few $$.

That could be more of an annoyance that anything else. I don't consider theft to be a problem. I leave mine out in the car for most of the time. I do, however, sometime charge it at my mother's house or at other random locations.

Seems an ok idea. For it to work they MUST have an override code. You could of course use a traditional password on powerup (or after other major events such as a PC sync) but the problem is if people constantly have to enter a PIN on each power up then they simply wont use the feature. So having the PIN to be required entry upon use of a foreign charger might actually be quite a good idea, especially if the operation is a one time affair and you can have multiple chargers on your allow list.

The negative would be in relation to how this effects 3rd parties of course.

It's a good feature if
A) It can be disabled, ie not used at all
B) You can override the protection easily should your charger be lost
C) It works with 3rd parties (and they adopt it)
D) You can have multiple chargers on some allow list and not just one, otherwise people with say a car and house charger will be too inconvinienced

The problem lies in once they have your iPod your still screwed and if this protection is optional then people will still steal them and gamble on a open to use iPod being the one they steal. I mean I dont know anyone besides my mum that has a PIN on her phone either for turning it on.

I think this is a good idea IF and ONLY IF the mechanism of locking is something like pairing a bluetooth headset, authorizing songs to play on iPods. Bluetooth headsets only receive audio from a specific device, now imagine if that's applied to Pods and it'll only charge with paired computers. Or like when purchased songs can only be played on authorized comptuers. When you switch computers or lose your laptop (hope not), you can authorize a new one, or ask Apple (providing you ahve proof of ownership), to reactivate it on a new laptop.

I've had TWO iPod nanos stolen. So I'm all for this.

well it look s like Apple has developed MRM or ERM. yet another way to extract nickles and dimes without having to give anything up for it and to maintain the Apple logo and its use. slowly they will become yet another patent factory with no real product to show for it.

MRM- Mechanical Rights Management
ERM- Electrical Rights Management

unfortunately there is another side to this too. the general quality of second line products coming from certain areas of this planet is for the most part junk quality. quality control in these manufacturing communities is non existant for the most part and it just ends up in our land fills after failure in their usually short lifespans. that has to end too.

I'm 95% certain most iPod related thefts would be on the road, outside of the house where most users wont have a charger.

Smigit said,
I'm 95% certain most iPod related thefts would be on the road, outside of the house where most users wont have a charger.

Yea, it's so obvious

Glassed Silver:mac

wait... what about my car adapter? I use really only use my iPod as a storage medium for my Pioneer car stereo which has an iPod connection... and full ipod interface on it.. so now i will have to take it off to charge it? right now it charges itself through the car and runs off car power when its playing music...

this is for future models...so you may have to buy a new setup if you wanted to use a newer idevice on it i guess =\ or maybe have to get an adapter.

I like the idea of this technology if it was licensed out to other manufacturers. It won't prevent all thefts but might discourage some people from stealing gadgets like tomtoms, laptops etc etc!

It would also need a way to pair new devices using a pin or something incase you lost your charger!

Apple is being doing this kind of things too much lately. It's starting to push me away from the thoughts of someday buying an Apple computer.

To me as long as they make quality products such as their computers and mp3 players I will want to keep buying their stuff. But if they keep forcing people to do this it's going to start getting a negative impact with people that understand what is going on.

i'll be honest with you. of all the people i know with iPods, none of them have ever been robbed.

they're so common place. anyone have any statistics on iPod theft?

It's most likely going to work as a USB dongle would, with an extra board inside the charger that the iPod will detect, if the information on that board is correct then it works, if not, well...

This security feature sounds exactly like DRM for music, it is not there to protect the customer but the company itself. It's gonna be cracked as soon as it hits the market but most likely as a patched iPod OS so Mr and Ms everybody will just go ahead and buy the overpriced apple charger because it's the only one that works. That way apple sells more charger and makes more profit!

Darn...I guess I can't buy electronics at Lost & Found anymore...because they typically don't come with cables charger.

It would be good if you could enter a pin number on an unrecognised charger, and thereafter it is marked as 'safe'.

I don't know how it would differentiate from one charger to the other though...

What the heck does digital rights management have to do with charging an iPod? Are the electrons flowing in copyrighted? iPod already has DRM and already can only sync to one computer. All this is going to do is probably require a long key for when you do change computers or when adding other charging devices, hardly an inconvenience. I rather do that than have to worry about getting stabbed for my mp3 player.

DRM and technology like this doesn't solve problems... it simply irritates honest people by restricting what they do. Thieves can easily figure out how to get round it so it reduces the problem slightly by stopping a select few but it doesn't solve organized or large scale crime. It just stops the occasional thief.

it is very unlikely to stop organised crime, and if they find the tools to bypass it then occasional thieves will catch on pretty quickly too.

Just like DRM, all this will do is severely inconvenience the consumer, completely stuffed if they accidentally leave their own charger behind, or simply don't want to carry the extra bulk, as they'd no longer simply be able to jack into a friends.

Or far worse, they'll of course declare that making it possible to mod another charger to work with your own i-device, would make it too easy for thieves to mod them to work with stolen ones, so they'll of course prevent that as much as possible, meaning once your charge is broken, then your ipod/mabook/whatever is done for too.

congrats, but wasnt this posted about 4 or 5 days ago on here also? i remember making a comment on how this will only hurt the buyers and not the stealers. And that the stealers will probably just sell the ipod on ebay and rip off some poor person who doesnt know that it needs to be synced up.

Smells like DRM. I'm not that well informed on iPods and other apple products, but isn't that the thing behind DRM, you can only sync your iPod with one particular computer? And anyways, it will get circumvented in a matter of days, if not hours. This will only add frustration for honest users and a minor hassle for thieves.

you can sync an iPod with as many computers as you like, you can only hold 5 different computers' DRM protected music on one particular iPod though.
from the PC side you can sync DRMed music to as many iPods as you like though.
and why do you yell omg its drm, now this is something where it could be useful for the user, if integrated properly...

Glassed Silver:mac

Well I didn't exactly yell "OMGzorz", I just made a link with things I had heard about Apple's DRM. Thanks for making it clearer. As for being usefull for the user, I disagree. As I mentionned above, it's going to get cracked very easily, and most likely even your high-school thief will be able to google a way past it. It's not worth the inconvenience it could cause to users.

the simple way: use older version of iTunes.
thought I don't think many people will make cracks for this anti-theif thing, i'm sure the hackers hate the theives too, and assuming as long as the anti-thief deosn't bother our normal usage of ipod, why would they crack their own protection.

so hang on if my charger breaks and i need a new one how the hell would i then be able to charge it.....
This is kind of crazy as i can see all 3rd party charger adaptor makers etc going out of business

i bet its like a key thingy, so you could set ur new adaptor to use the old and working key or sumfin
actually this is a good idea, would love to be able to turn it off for several situations though

Glassed Silver:mac

Sweet, so when people forget their charger say on a business trip or vacation they wont be able to use their spendy Apple device! I'm sure that in somebody's mind it makes sense though.

Oh I'm sure you can buy premium priced quality Apple made synced chargers.

yeah this is for the consumers protection... nothing to do at all with getting apple to make more money from selling Apple made stuff, and make buying used devies less attractive which in turn means peopel will instead need to buy the proucts new and less recycles i-products wich seems to be good for everyone, except the consumers who don't have loads of cash and are happy with second hand, and the enviroment... well it's still good for Apple anyway

This would be good if Apple allowed you to use a passcode or some sort of method of enabling chargers for cars and just generally 3rd party ones. I think its a great idea to prevent stolen iPods, but they need to make it so you can activate mote than one charger to do the trick.

I think how this system work is that when you lost your ipod. you have to report to apple. If you don't report, apple will consider you are still owning the ipod, thus they won't care if you use it for someone else' charger. which makes sense, as long as you don't declare its stolen to apple, you will be able to use it any where with any charger.

noPCtoday said,
I think how this system work is that when you lost your ipod. you have to report to apple. If you don't report, apple will consider you are still owning the ipod, thus they won't care if you use it for someone else' charger. which makes sense, as long as you don't declare its stolen to apple, you will be able to use it any where with any charger.

wow, are you just making stuff up? how in the world is apple going to disable an ipod after its reported stolen? do they enable some kind of hidden wi-fi feature on the ipod and tell it not to charge because its stolen?

how it works is that they DO care what charger you use, and the ipods wont sync unless you have an authorized charger.