back to article Apple files patent for iPhone enabled auto-adjustable auto interior

Apple has filed a patent application for a system that would enable you to carry your preferred automotive environment settings on your iDevice, which would adjust any suitably equipped car to match your preferences. Illustration from Apple's 'Automatic Configuration of Self-Configurable Environments' patent application So …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Me? Sceptical?

    My old iPhone would barely talk to the Bluetooth on a brand new Honda CRV.

    How an iThingy is going to actually shift some data to it I don't know.

    But more likely its going to need the car electronics people to come onboard to get this idea moving let alone to actually derive some monetary value.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Brand new Honda?

      This is a niche patent for high end cars, which, incidentally have adjusters already built in.

      Unless it has some magical properties that will magic adjustments to my wife's 11y old Focus?

  2. Yet Another Commentard

    I know nothing much about patents, but...

    It's not going to stop me from commenting.

    How can an idea that's just an idea be patented? I mean, this to me simply reads "wouldn't it be cool if..." rather than "here is a [device] and its associated processes that would facilitate [function] to happen."

    Can you really patent an idea before you've worked out how to actually implement that idea?

    1. Darryl

      Re: I know nothing much about patents, but...

      Sure, that's exactly the idea. Patent a couple sketches of what something might look like if it were ever built, then sit around and wait for someone to actually build one, then release the lawyers.

    2. Bob Vistakin

      Re: I know nothing much about patents, but...

      "Can you really patent an idea before you've worked out how to actually implement that idea?"

      Welcome to Microsofts only revenue stream from mobile.

    3. miknik

      Re: I know nothing much about patents, but...

      For ten years plus Mercedes have had this functionality. The device which stores your settings? The key.

      You set your settings for your key, your partner sets theirs for theirs. Put your key in and eveerything moves to your set position and vice versa. I admit this idea would be cool for Apple users who use many hire cars, but for me I change cars less than I change phones, so not so cool for me.

      1. tom dial Silver badge

        Re: I know nothing much about patents, but...

        But of course doing it with an iThingy clearly is patentworthy over and above any patents Mercedes might have acquired. Of course it is possible that Mercedes is more interested in providing the product than extorting money from others who might want to do the same thing.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: I know nothing much about patents, but...

          "But of course doing it with an iThingy clearly is patentworthy"

          Ah ha! You're wrong. Apple are not filing a patent for an iThingy. They're filing a patent applying to a "portable consumer device". Something which could, for example, be a car key and associated electronics.


  3. beast666


    Get a bigger car, nuff said!

    1. beast666
      Thumb Up

      Re: FFS

      ... or a taller/larger wife/partner/bird/squeeze...

  4. Hellcat

    I await the lawsuit when 6'5 Fred gets into his car with his 5'2 girlfriend Laura, but only Laura brings her ithingy...

    Will look like that scene in Star Wars in the waste compactor.

    On a serious note, is it really that hard to adjust the seat? 1 click forward for me - the wife is very leggy.

  5. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    You're configuring it wrong

    Sorry, had to be said.

  6. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Abysmally dumb.

    Yes, carry preferences for some device around on your *other* device.

    Very ingenious. Very genius bar. With the bar configured to "very low".

  7. chipxtreme

    Just when you think the apple patents can't get any worse, along comes this. I'm sure some cars already do this sort of thing already. I remember reading a few years back about one car adjusting various factors depending on which key you use as they are programmed to an individual. This is just plain stupid

    1. Grikath Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      pretty run-of-the-mill iFruit patent.

      Take existing tech, ignore prior art, add "mobile device" where appropriate, file with the USPTO in the full trust that someone will rubberstamp it without reading, prime the lawyers.

      Paris, 'cause she regularly adjusts things too.

  8. Jim Wilkinson

    It might have merit

    There are already cars with settings customizable for an individual driver. Useful, but don't pick up the wife's key :)

    This all hinges on car designers wanting to offer the interface and protocols to operate with a mobile device. If one of the big manufacturers really wants this, then it might just take off and other car manufacturers adopt. Though patent licensing fees would need to be low IMO. Or wait until the patent(s) expire.

    I'm no defender of the fruity firm, but this patent could just have some legs. And if it does get implemented, don't pick up the wife's PDA....

    1. stucs201

      Re: It might have merit

      I'd be more convinced if they were proposing a standard than filing a patent.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It might have merit

        Exactly, they really should be forming a standard. Then again, being a lot of other companies have done the leg work to enabled such technology to be possible, it only seems fitting Apple claims it as their own "innovation" and patents it.

  9. G.Y.


    Can the car be "adjusted" by the car next to it on the freeway?

  10. FanMan

    Go configure

    This isn't an invention, it's a catch-all. I hope the American patent people throw it out. Enough already.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Go configure

      i hope so too, but given the stupidity of some other patents those same people have granted, they'll probably send it back to Apple saying "it isn't far-reaching enough, can you make it broader please, incorporating more examples of prior art than you already do?"

  11. Diogenes

    More prior art

    just look at Cornings" world made of glass " on the youtubes

  12. dougal83

    Old idea

    Bill Gates' house has been out fitted with automated customised environments for years. Music, lighting, air con. and much more. Another bollocks patent from a bollocks company. Keep it coming as I enjoy scoffing at "innovation".'_house

  13. frank ly Silver badge

    As I struggle and start to drown ......

    .... I shout out and grab at any little piece of floating thing that I think will help to keep me above water. I put some of them in my pocket, saying, "This could help save me later."

  14. The Nameless Mist

    sounds a bit stallone

    Ah yes .. someone at the fruit-farm has been watching Demolition Man

  15. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Lies or idiocy?

    "I think that Apple can do this in a unique way and better than anyone else."

    unique: cannot be blocked by other people's existing patents

    unique: Apple's prior art will block others from patenting the same thing

    better than anyone else: others will not be able to make this, so patent injunctions not required

    better than anyone else: others will not be able to make this, so no patent revenue

    What was the point in buying a patent?

  16. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    My car does this...

    ...via the key for me & SWMBO. I can just about see "translation" working for radio stations and climate control, probably for seat and wheel position and not a hope in hell for mirrors. In other words, the more important, the less well it'll work.

  17. MrT

    "...on a mobile device... a mobile device..."

    A whole new patent paradigm - all ahead, flank speed!

  18. cs94njw

    Nice idea, but with Android the most popular OS in the world at the moment, why would a car manufacturer tie themselves to Apple? An idea this obvious is bound to be applicable for all mobile phones/devices. Perhaps Apple is thinking it's cool if you're wearing an Apple watch, and your car settings are included in that too.

    Could be interesting when most of the car manufacturers starts incorporating Android support instead iPhone support, and then Apple sues Google because they won.

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