Apple patents iPod-crippling anti-theft tech

By Justin Mann on July 27, 2007, 7:18 PM
Considering the heat Apple is facing over the battery in the iPhone, this article was amusing to say the least. Apple has patented and may in the near future employ an anti-theft mechanism in the iPod, one that permanently disables charging.

The idea is that if an iPod is stolen and then later attached to an “unauthorized” PC, the device will recognize the machine as such and then disable its ability to charge – forever. It does this through the use of an intelligent circuit that can prevent charging if it fails to find a proper security code on “authorized” machines.

What exactly qualifies a machine as “authorized” isn't mentioned, nor if the device would be able to be unlocked if it was later recovered by the proper owner... or what would happen if the “authorized” machine needed an OS reinstall. Still, the concept is interesting. You can read the patent filing for the tech.




User Comments: 5

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simonwong1989 said:
I really don't think this will work AT ALL. As stated, what if your OS needs to be reinstalled? What if you were on holiday and will be using another system? How will be make another system 'authorized' so that it takes the iPod without locking it?It will lock itself. I think it might make it worse. I think they really don't need that. It's definitely a interesting concept though.
howzz1854 said:
one way to implement it i could forsee is through the use of a USB dongle. for the authorized machine, you'll have to have a personal dongle plugged in to the machine while you plug into your ipod. since through dongles are authenticated through hardware level not software, it won't effect OS reinstall. but that's not to say that's what they'll use. still... i admire Apple's innovation and thinking outside of the box.
DragonMaster said:
Someone will just find a way to unlock them.[quote]or what would happen if the “authorized” machine needed an OS reinstall.[/quote]Every recent Apple computers have different DRM keys in them to prevent OS X from being installed on non-Mac computers, maybe other stuff too and this could be one of them. Whatever you do with the software, the key is going to stay the same. The only thing is if you have to get the mobo changed, do they keep the same key?I wonder if Intel still has those CPU-embedded serial numbers like in P3s...Maybe it will just work like WGA : Looks at MAC address(Media Access Control), machine's hardware, etc.
Gars said:
hm, the next secure product?just a matter of time like all the others
drummerboy said:
[b]Originally posted by howzz1854:[/b][quote]one way to implement it i could forsee is through the use of a USB dongle. for the authorized machine, you'll have to have a personal dongle plugged in to the machine while you plug into your ipod. since through dongles are authenticated through hardware level not software, it won't effect OS reinstall. but that's not to say that's what they'll use. still... i admire Apple's innovation and thinking outside of the box. [/quote]and when the dongle breaks?
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