An Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) application that was discovered this Thursday describes an authentication system for portable media gadgets much like the solution incorporated in the Lightning cable of the company. It is the iDevice-centric descendant of the admired 30-pin dock connector.
The patent has been named as ‘Cross-transport authentication’. It needs authentication controllers to be situated at either the transport connector that can be a cable or wire or the ports on a portable gadget and attached accessory. As seen with Lightning Connector, the authentication unit can take the shape of a chip integrated at one side of the cable, providing vital permissions for an accessory to interface with a portable device.
In order to operate, the authentication controller in the cable communicates a cross-transport request from the accessory or handy gadget and the successive permissions to interface or control the device in question. Since the authentication controller in the connector can be attached to a number of communication channels, it can also broadcast video, audio and manage signals along with essential permissions.
Other embodiments are explained in which authentication controllers are present at both the portable device and the accessory although it appears that Apple has opted to depend on security implanted into the cable itself.
The summary of the filing helps in getting a glimpse of the reason Apple opted for authentication embedded in the new Lightning Connector instead of using more traditional options.
Present interface protocols let a portable media device to control how and whether an accessory accesses functionality of the PMD. Such protocols prevent and/or limit access by third party devices that are troublesome, error phone, damaging to the media player and/ or resource draining. Also, such protocols may duplicate copy protections to media resources that are subject to copy restrictions.
It is still not clear how the unlicensed modules will affect plans of Apple to gather royalties, but it appears that the company’s efforts to maintain complete control over the third-party cottage market has bee spoilt even before the first authenticated products roll off the assembly line.