US20090055408A1 - Systems and methods for multi-user access to a wireless storage device - Google Patents

Systems and methods for multi-user access to a wireless storage device Download PDF

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US20090055408A1
US20090055408A1 US12280779 US28077907A US2009055408A1 US 20090055408 A1 US20090055408 A1 US 20090055408A1 US 12280779 US12280779 US 12280779 US 28077907 A US28077907 A US 28077907A US 2009055408 A1 US2009055408 A1 US 2009055408A1
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device
content object
request
sharing
share
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Abandoned
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US12280779
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Robert W. Warren
Stephen N. Haddad
Fadi Afa Al-Refaee
Nikolai K. Bahram
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Avago Technologies General IP Singapore Pte Ltd
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Agere Systems Inc
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    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04MTELEPHONIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04M1/00Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges
    • H04M1/60Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges including speech amplifiers
    • H04M1/6033Substation equipment, e.g. for use by subscribers; Analogous equipment at exchanges including speech amplifiers for providing handsfree use or a loudspeaker mode in telephone sets
    • H04M1/6041Portable telephones adapted for handsfree use
    • H04M1/6075Portable telephones adapted for handsfree use adapted for handsfree use in a vehicle
    • H04M1/6083Portable telephones adapted for handsfree use adapted for handsfree use in a vehicle by interfacing with the vehicle audio system
    • H04M1/6091Portable telephones adapted for handsfree use adapted for handsfree use in a vehicle by interfacing with the vehicle audio system including a wireless interface
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/04Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications adapted for terminals or networks with limited resources or for terminal portability, e.g. wireless application protocol [WAP]
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04LTRANSMISSION OF DIGITAL INFORMATION, e.g. TELEGRAPHIC COMMUNICATION
    • H04L67/00Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications
    • H04L67/12Network-specific arrangements or communication protocols supporting networked applications adapted for proprietary or special purpose networking environments, e.g. medical networks, sensor networks, networks in a car or remote metering networks
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D30/00High level techniques for reducing energy consumption in communication networks
    • Y02D30/40Application modification for reducing energy consumption, e.g. green peer-to-peer
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D70/00Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/10Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT]
    • Y02D70/14Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks
    • Y02D70/142Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks in Wireless Local Area Networks [WLAN]
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D70/00Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/10Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT]
    • Y02D70/14Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks
    • Y02D70/144Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks in Bluetooth and Wireless Personal Area Networks [WPAN]
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D70/00Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/10Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT]
    • Y02D70/14Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks
    • Y02D70/146Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers [IEEE] networks in Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access [WiMAX] networks
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D70/00Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/10Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT]
    • Y02D70/16Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in other wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/164Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in other wireless communication networks in Satellite Navigation receivers
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02DCLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION TECHNOLOGIES IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES [ICT], I.E. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES AIMING AT THE REDUCTION OF THIR OWN ENERGY USE
    • Y02D70/00Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/10Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT]
    • Y02D70/16Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in other wireless communication networks
    • Y02D70/168Techniques for reducing energy consumption in wireless communication networks according to the Radio Access Technology [RAT] in other wireless communication networks in Digital Video Broadcasting [DVB] networks

Abstract

Various systems and methods for allowing multi-user access to a wireless storage device are disclosed. For example, some embodiments of the present invention provide methods for sharing content objects that include providing a wireless storage device that is operable to communicably couple to a master device and a sharing device. The wireless storage device includes a memory on which one or more content objects are stored. The methods further include receiving a request to share that identifies the sharing device; and authorizing the request to share. Through authorizing the request to share, the sharing device is authorized to receive the content object.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • The present application claims priority to (is a non-provisional filing of) U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/806,610, entitled “SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MOBILE DATA STORAGE AND ACQUISITION” and filed Jul. 5, 2006 by Al-Refaee et al.; U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/829,007, entitled “SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MOBILE DATA STORAGE AND ACQUISITION” and filed Oct. 11, 2006 by Al-Refaee et al.; and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/869,453, entitled “SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR MOBILE DATA STORAGE AND ACQUISITION” and filed Dec. 11, 2006 by Al-Refaee et al. Each of the aforementioned applications is assigned to an entity common hereto and is incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.
  • Further, the present application is related to the following patent applications filed on a date even herewith: PCT Application No. ______ (Attorney Reference No. AGERE-001210PCT), entitled “Systems and Methods for Implementing Hands Free Operational Environments” and filed by Bahram et al.; PCT Application No. ______ (Attorney Reference No. AGERE-001220PCT), entitled “Systems and Methods for Multiport Communication Distribution” and filed by Haddad et al.; PCT Application No. ______ (Attorney Reference No. AGERE-001230PCT), entitled “Systems and Methods for Power Management in Relation to a Wireless Storage Device” and filed by Warren et al.; PCT Application No. ______ (Attorney Reference No. AGERE-001240PCT), entitled “Systems and Methods for Enabling Consumption of Copy-Protected Content Across Multiple Devices” and filed by Al-Refaee et al.; and PCT Application No. ______ (Attorney Reference No. AGERE-001270PCT), entitled “Systems and Methods for Mobile Data Storage and Acquisition” and filed by Warren et al. All of the aforementioned related applications are assigned to an entity common hereto and are incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is generally related to consumer electronic devices, and in particular to systems and methods for distributing and maintaining information in relation to one or more mobile devices.
  • The computer architecture with a central processor governing a local data repository has been a standard in computing for decades. The architecture utilizes a central repository that is perceived as a slave to an associated processor. The processor governs the central repository by commanding storage and retrieval of information from the central storage at whim. A myriad of devices utilizing the familiar processor and memory structure have been developed. For example, a number of consumer devices including audio recorders, audio players, cell phones, video players, video game devices, video recorders and the like have been developed that include a central memory local to the particular device and operating as a slave to a governing processor within the device. Such devices have proliferated in the market and have satisfied a continuing consumer demand.
  • A number of consumer devices including the aforementioned devices have proven capabilities as stand alone devices. Such devices typically include a memory that maintains information utilized by the particular device. Such devices, however, either do not provide any ability to share information with other devices or an ability to access information from the memory of the device is very cumbersome. For example, an MP3 player includes a central memory from which audio files are accessed and played by the MP3 player. Accessing the music from the MP3 player by another device is, however, cumbersome as it typically requires a physical coupling with a personal computer (PC). As a practical matter, the aforementioned complication limits the use of the memory on the MP3 player to a single user of the MP3 player.
  • Hence, for at least the aforementioned reasons, there exists a need in the art for advanced systems and methods for distributing data.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is generally related to consumer electronic devices, and in particular to systems and methods for distributing and maintaining information in relation to one or more mobile devices.
  • Various embodiments of the present invention provide methods for sharing content objects. Such methods include providing a wireless storage device that is operable to communicably couple to a master device and a sharing device. The wireless storage device includes a memory on which one or more content objects are stored. The methods further include receiving a request to share that identifies the sharing device, and authorizing the request to share. Through authorizing the request to share, the sharing device is authorized to receive the content object. In some instances of the aforementioned embodiments, the master device includes a graphical user interface and the request to share is received from the sharing device. In such instances, the methods further include providing an information set to the master device. The information set is used to drive an authorization request presented via the graphical user interface of the master device, and authorizing the request to share includes receiving a response via the graphical user interface of the master device. In some instances of the aforementioned embodiments, the methods further include receiving a request for a content object, and distributing the requested content object to both the master device and the sharing device simultaneously. In such instances, the request is received from the sharing device, the master device, or both.
  • The master and sharing devices may be, but are not limited to, a cellular telephone, an audio player, a video player, and/or a personal digital assistant. In some cases, the master device and the sharing device are communicably coupled to the wireless storage device using a wireless network that may be, but is not limited to, a WiFi network and/or a Bluetooth network.
  • In some instances of the aforementioned methods, the request to share is received from the master device, and authorizing the request to share is implicit in the request to share. In other instances of the aforementioned embodiments, the methods further include providing an information set to the sharing device. The information set is used to drive an available content object menu via the graphical user interface of the sharing device. In various instances, the methods further include receiving a request for a content object via the graphical user interface of the sharing device, and distributing the requested content object to the sharing device. In such instances, distributing the requested content object to the sharing device includes streaming the requested content object in a way that complies with a digital rights management scheme associated with the requested content object.
  • Other embodiments of the present invention provide systems for sharing content objects. Such systems include a wireless storage device with a processor and a memory. The memory includes a non-volatile memory and a volatile memory, and at least a first and a second content object are stored in the memory. The first content object is identified as private and the second content object is identified as sharable. The memory further includes instructions executable by the processor to communicably couple the wireless storage device to a sharing device via a first wireless interface such that the sharing device has access to the second content object; and to communicably couple the wireless storage device to a master device via a second wireless interface such that the master device has access to the first content object and to the second content object.
  • In some instances of the aforementioned embodiments, the memory further includes instructions executable by the processor to upload an information set to the master device. The information set is used to drive an available content object menu via the graphical user interface of the master device, and the available content object menu includes the first content object and the second content object. In other instances of the aforementioned embodiments, the memory further includes instructions executable by the processor to upload an information set to the sharing device. The information set is used to drive an available content object menu via the graphical user interface of the sharing device, and the available content object menu includes the second content object.
  • Yet other embodiments of the present invention provide systems for sharing content objects. Such systems include a wireless storage device with a processor and a memory. The memory includes a content object and instructions executable by the processor to: communicably couple the wireless storage device to a sharing device via a first wireless interface; communicably couple the wireless storage device to a master device via a second wireless interface; receive a request to share that identifies the sharing device; and authorize the request to share such that the sharing device is authorized to receive the content object. In some instances of the aforementioned embodiments, the master device includes a graphical user interface and the request to share is received from the sharing device. In such instances, the memory may further include instructions executable by the processor to provide an information set to the master device. The information set is used to drive an authorization request presented via the graphical user interface of the master device. Authorizing the request to share includes receiving a response via the graphical user interface of the master device. In some cases, the request to share is received from the master device, and authorizing the request to share is implicit in the request to share. In other instances of the aforementioned embodiments, the memory further includes instructions executable by the processor to receive a request for a content object; and distribute the requested content object to both the master device and the sharing device simultaneously.
  • This summary provides only a general outline of some embodiments according to the present invention. Many other objects, features, advantages and other embodiments of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description, the appended claims and the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • A further understanding of the various embodiments of the present invention may be realized by reference to the figures which are described in remaining portions of the specification. In the figures, like reference numerals are used throughout several to refer to similar components. In some instances, a sub-label consisting of a lower case letter is associated with a reference numeral to denote one of multiple similar components. When reference is made to a reference numeral without specification to an existing sub-label, it is intended to refer to all such multiple similar components.
  • FIG. 1 depicts a content usage network including one or more UMCS devices in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 a depicts an exemplary UMCS device coupled with a mobile application device in accordance with various embodiments of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 b is a flow diagram illustrating a method in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention for operating a UMCS device via a remote graphical user interface;
  • FIG. 2 c shows an exemplary case for a UMCS device including only a very limited user interface;
  • FIG. 3 a is a block diagram of an exemplary UMCS device in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention;
  • FIGS. 3 b-3 c depict two approaches for partitioning the memory of a UMCS device in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention;
  • FIG. 4 a is a flow diagram depicting a method in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention for receiving one or more content objects, and for rendering the received content objects as sharable or private as part of the process of receiving the content object(s);
  • FIG. 4 b is a flow diagram depicting a method for servicing a content object request in accordance with various embodiments of the present invention;
  • FIG. 5 shows a system for sharing content objects via one or more wireless interfaces of a UMCS device in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention; and
  • FIGS. 6 a-6 b depict approaches in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention for authorizing sharing scenarios using a UMCS device.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is generally related to consumer electronic devices, and in particular to systems and methods for distributing and maintaining information in relation to one or more mobile devices.
  • Turning to FIG. 1, a diagram depicts an exemplary content usage network 100 in accordance with various embodiments of the present invention. Exemplary content usage network 100 includes a UMCS 110 at the core thereof. UMCS 110 is able to receive content from one or more online and wireless content providers as well as from various self maintained application devices such as, for example, audio recorders and video recorders. In some cases, UMCS 110 may be intermittently wired to a personal computer 115 via a cable 117. In such cases, UMCS 110 may be configured via personal computer 115 using the standard I/O interfaces associated with personal computer 115.
  • Wireless network 120 may be any wireless network known in the art. Thus, for example, wireless network 120 may be, but is not limited to, a Bluetooth™ network or a WiFi network as are known in the art. As indicated above, the word “Bluetooth” is a trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc. For clarity, later use of the word Bluetooth is done without the customary trademark designation. It should be noted that while UMCS 110 may be configured across wireless network 120 using the user interface of another application device, and it may also be configured using other approaches. Thus, for example, UMCS 110 may be self configuring. In such a case, UMCS 110 is implemented with enough intelligence to auto detect an available wireless network as well as devices attached via the wireless network. As a particular example, UMCS 110 may be implemented such that when power is applied to the device it automatically scans for Bluetooth devices that are within range of UMCS 110. Based on the detected Bluetooth devices, UMCS 110 may form a service offering as is more fully discussed below.
  • UMCS 110 is capable of interacting with various devices and classes of devices via wireless network 120. For example, in some cases, UMCS 110 is operable to interact directly with UMCS enabled application devices via wireless network 120. Such UMCS enabled application devices include capability to authenticate to UMCS 110 and to accept and transfer information from/to UMCS 110, and to provide digital rights management whereby content is secured not only in the transfer between UMCS 110 and the UMCS enabled application device, but is also maintained secure within the UMCS enabled application device. In the situation where wireless network 120 is a Bluetooth network, the aforementioned UMCS enabled application devices would include Bluetooth capability.
  • In various cases, UMCS 110 is operable to interact directly with non-UMCS enabled application devices via wireless network 120. In such cases, either UMCS 110 includes capability to tailor output and receive input from the non-UMCS enabled application device, or the non-UMCS enabled application devices may interact with UMCS 110 via a specialized UMCS converter that is tailored for operation with a class of devices. Thus, for example, where wireless network 120 is a Bluetooth network, the UMCS converter may be enabled to receive from and provided information to a non-UMCS enabled application device via any one of a number of communication approaches, and to communicate the information to/from UMCS 110 using a Bluetooth protocol. As an example, UMCS 110 may interact with digital audio devices (e.g., a digital audio player 151 and a digital audio recorder 152) via a UMCS digital audio converter 150. As another example, a cellular telephone 161 or personal digital assistant (not shown) may interact with UMCS 110 either directly or via a UMCS audio/video converter 160. As yet another example, UMCS 110 may interact with video devices (e.g., a set top box 166, a video cassette player 167, a digital video recorder 168 and a television 169) via a UMCS digital video converter 165. As yet a further example, UMCS 110 may interact with still image devices such as a digital still camera 171 or a printer (not shown) via a UMCS digital image converter 170. As yet another example, UMCS 110 may interact with a GPS receiver/display 176 via a UMCS GPS converter 175.
  • In various cases, UMCS 110 is operable to interact directly with non-UMCS enabled application devices via a UMCS composite converter 140. UMCS composite converter 140 is operable to provide for UMCS interaction with multiple classes of recipient devices. Thus, for example, where wireless network 120 is a Bluetooth network, UMCS composite converter 140 may be enabled to receive from and provided information to different classes of non-UMCS enabled application devices via any one of a number of communication approaches, and to communicate the information to/from UMCS 110 using a Bluetooth protocol. As an example, UMCS composite converter 140 may couple UMCS 110 to, for example, a digital audio player 141, a digital video recorder 142, a television 143, a set top box 144, a digital still camera 145, a video cassette player 146, a digital audio recorder 147, a cellular telephone 148, and a GPS receiver 149, or some combination of the aforementioned device classes. In such cases, decoding of content accessed from a storage medium included in UMCS 110 is done using a decoder provided in UMCS composite converter 140. Thus, the content is unwrapped by UMCS 110 and the unwrapped content is provided to the UMCS composite converter 140 via wireless network 120. UMCS composite converter 140 decodes the content and provides it to the appropriate recipient device while at the same time assuring that any demanded digital rights management is maintained. In some cases, UMCS composite converter 140 may be implemented as a dongle associated with one or more recipient devices.
  • Further discussion of content usage networks including UMCS devices is provided in the patent application entitled “Systems and Methods for Mobile Data Storage and Acquisition” that was previously incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.
  • Turning to FIG. 2 a, a mobile data acquisition, storage and/or distribution system (“mobile storage system”) 201 in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention is depicted. Mobile storage system 201 includes a UMCS 211 communicably coupled to a mobile application device 241 via a wireless network 221. Wireless network 221 may be any wireless network capable of transferring information between UMCS 211 and mobile application device 241. Thus, for example, wireless network 221 may be, but is not limited to, a Bluetooth™ network or a Wi-Fi network that is, for example, 802.11 compliant. Based on the disclosure provided herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a variety of wireless networks that may be used in relation to one or more embodiments of the present invention. In some embodiments, communication between UMCS 211 and mobile application device 241 is accomplished directly between the two devices without utilizing an intervening wired hub.
  • UMCS 211 includes a memory system 207 that includes both application memory 219 and user data memory 217. As used herein, the phrase “application memory” is used in its broadest sense to mean memory allocated to include software or firmware applications. As known in the art, such software and firmware applications include instructions executable by a processor to perform one of a number of desired operations. As used herein, the phrase “user data memory” is used in its broadest sense to mean any memory allocated for data other than application data. Thus, for example, user data memory may store, but is not limited to, audio files, video files, documents and other types of user data. As is more fully discussed below in relation to FIG. 3, memory system 207 may be implemented with one or both of volatile and non-volatile memory media. As used herein, the phrase “non-volatile memory” is used in its broadest sense to mean any memory that maintains its contents when power is removed from the memory. As used herein, the phrase “volatile memory” is used in its broadest sense to mean any memory that does not maintain its contents when power is removed from the memory.
  • UMCS 211 also includes a memory access system 215 that may be any circuitry and/or programmable controller that provides for access to and from memory system 207. UMCS 211 also includes a processor 203 that is capable of directing operation of UMCS 211. In one particular case, processor 203 is capable of accessing application memory 219 that includes instructions executable by processor 203 to receive a user data set via wireless distribution interface 213; store the user data set to memory system 207; receive a request initiated through a remote user interface to provide the user data set to a recipient device; and provide the user data set to the recipient device via the wireless interface. Based on the disclosure provided herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a myriad of instructions that maybe executable by processor 203 to cause any of a number of operations to be performed by UMCS 211.
  • UMCS 211 further includes a wireless interface that includes a wireless distribution interface 213 and an antenna 223. Wireless distribution interface 213 includes all of the circuitry required to format data for transmission via a wireless protocol recognized by wireless network 221. Thus, where wireless network 221 is a Bluetooth™ network, wireless distribution interface 213 may be any Bluetooth™ interface for transferring data between UMCS 211 and wireless network 221. As will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art, where wireless network 221 uses another wireless protocol, wireless distribution interface 213 may be any interface capable of transferring data between UMCS 211 and wireless network 221 using the other interface protocol.
  • It should be noted that while mobile storage system 201 may include any number of application devices (mobile application device 241 is examplary of such application devices) that are communicably coupled to UMCS 211 via wireless interface 221. In some cases, one or more of the aforementioned application devices may be mobile application devices, while others are wired application devices. As used herein, the phrase “mobile application device” is used in its broadest sense to mean any electronic device capable of implementing one or more applications without being wired to any other device or power source. Thus, for example, a mobile application device may be, but is not limited to, a cellular telephone, a wireless headset, a personal digital assistant, a laptop computer, an MP3 player, and a mobile DVD player. Based on the disclosure provided herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a variety of mobile application devices that may be used in relation to one or more embodiments of the present inventions. Further, based on the disclosure provided herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that mobile application device 241 may be a master device or a sharing device as those devices are further defined below.
  • Mobile application device 241 includes a wireless interface that comprises a wireless network interface 243 and an antenna 225. Wireless network interface 243 may be any wireless interface known in the art that is capable of transferring data between mobile application device 241 and another device on wireless network 221. Mobile application device also includes a processor 245 that controls operation of the device. Mobile application device 241 includes a memory system comprising a cache 247, a random access memory 249 and a non-volatile random access memory 251. Further, mobile application device 241 includes a variety of input/output services including a graphical user interface controller 261, an audio controller 263 and a USER I/O controller 265. Graphical user interface controller 261 supports a graphical user interface 286 that may be integrated with mobile application device 241. Audio controller 263 supports an audio input device such as microphone 287 and an audio output device such as speaker 288. User J/O controller supports a keyboard 289 and in some cases a mouse or pen interface device as are known in the art.
  • Turning to FIG. 2 b, a flow diagram 801 illustrates a method in accordance with some embodiments of the present invention for operating a UMCS device. Following flow diagram 801, UMCS 211 identifies one or more known application devices within wireless range (block 806), and binds itself to the identified devices such that communication between the devices is enabled (block 811). In this example, the identified device includes a graphical user interface. As one example, UMCS 211 may be programmed to automatically connect to a particular cellular telephone or a mobile media player using a Bluetooth network. In such a case, when UMCS 211 identifies the cellular telephone or mobile media player, it establishes a communication link between UMCS 211 and the particular device.
  • Later, UMCS 211 receives a request to connect from another unknown or otherwise unauthorized application device (block 816). Such a request may be from another device capable of communicating via the wireless network on which UMCS 211 is communicating. Thus, for example, a car stereo may be within range and may desire a communication link between it and UMCS 211. Based on the disclosure provided herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a variety of application devices that may request a connection with UMCS 211. A command representing the received connection request is uploaded from UMCS 211 to the previously bound known application device including a graphical user interface (block 821). The command causes a graphical request to be displayed to the user via the graphical user interface of the known application device (block 831). The user then responds to the request using the graphical user interface of the known application device (block 836). As indicated by the dashed line around an area 826, the operations of block 831 and block 836 are performed on the known application device. The response to the command is then transferred to UMCS 211 (block 841).
  • Where the request was denied by the user (block 846), a corresponding denial of the request to connect is issued (block 851). Alternatively, where the request is granted by the user (block 846), a communication link is established between the requesting device and UMCS 211 (block 856). In turn, the requesting device may ask for a menu of operations available from UMCS 211 (block 861). Thus, for example, where the requesting device is an MP3 audio player, it may request a list of all music maintained in the memory system of UMCS 211. As another example, where the requesting device is a video player, it may request a list of all of the video clips maintained in the memory system of UMCS 211. Based on this request, UMCS 211 determines what operations are to be made available to the requesting device, and a menu of contents or operations available to the requesting device are provided as a command to the graphical user interface of the known application device (block 866).
  • This menu of available operations is displayed using the graphical user interface of the known application device (block 876), and the user enters their selection(s) from the list via the graphical user interface (block 881). As indicated by the dashed line around an area 871, the operations of block 876 and block 881 are performed on the known application device. The response from the user is then transferred to UMCS 211 (block 886). UMCS 211 then executes the user selection (block 891). Thus, for example, where the user selects a particular music file, the selected music file is accessed from the memory system of UMCS 211 and transferred to the requesting device via a wireless network. Based on the disclosure provided herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a myriad of devices that may bind to UMCS 211, and thereafter be controlled via a graphical user interface of another device bound to UMCS 211. Further, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a myriad of commands and/or selections that may be received by UMCS 211 from a variety of sources, and handled using the graphical user interface of another connected application device.
  • Based on the aforementioned discussion, one of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that UMCS 211 may be designed without a graphical user interface, and may include functionality allowing it to bind to another device that includes a graphical user interface and to utilize that graphical user interface. In some cases, UMCS 211 may be encased in such a way that when operated wirelessly only a very limited user interface is available directly on UMCS 211. This limited user interface may include three or fewer switches (e.g., selector buttons, rocker switches, slide switches or the like). As an example, one of the buttons may be a power on button and another may be operable to turn off the wireless interface when, for example power consumption is to be limited or interference concerns exist. Turning to FIG. 2 c, an exemplary case 895 for UMCS 211 including only a limited user interface is shown. As shown, case 895 includes a hard shell 898 with a power switch (as shown it is a button, but could be any other switch type) 893 and a wireless switch (as shown it is a button, but could be any other switch type) 897. Also, one or more electrical interfaces 899 are included to allow for wired connection via, for example, a USB interface, or for receiving, for example, a memory card. As will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art based on the disclosure provided herein, the lack of a graphical display reduces the cost and increases the durability of case 895.
  • Turning to FIG. 3 a, a UMCS 300 in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention is depicted. UMCS 300 includes a hard disk drive 305 that is accessible to a processor 310 via a hard disk drive interface 315. Hard disk drive interface may be any interface known in the art that allows for transferring data to and from hard disk drive 315. Further, hard disk drive 305 may be any hard disk drive known in the art. It should be noted that in various embodiments of the present invention that the hard disk drive can be replaced or augmented by another form of non-volatile memory including, but not limited to, a bank of solid state memory such as flash memory, or some constantly powered random access memory. Indeed hard disk drive 305 may be replaced or augmented by any non-volatile memory known in the art. Where hard disk drive 305 is replaced or augmented, hard disk drive controller 315 may correspondingly be replaced or modified to allow the transfer of data to or from the chosen non-volatile storage medium.
  • In one particular case, hard disk drive interface 315 is a standard ATA interface and hard disk drive 305 is an ATA hard disk drive. In addition, UMCS 300 includes multiple transmission paths 330 each coupled to processor 310 via a system bus 350. As depicted, UMCS 300 includes three distinct transmission paths each including a transmitter/receiver 332, 334, 336 electrically coupled to a respective antenna 341, 342, 343 and a local buffering memory 331, 333, 335. It should be noted that UMCS 300 may include more or fewer transmission paths depending upon the intended use and/or design of UMCS 300. Some embodiments of the present invention utilize Bluetooth transmission paths. Such paths are low power paths that are useful for mobile devices that are expected to operate for many hours. Further, such paths offer sufficient bandwidth for audio/video streaming. For example, in one particular embodiment of the present invention, the combination of the transmission paths offers 1.5 Mbits/sec. This level of bandwidth allows MPEG4/Divx content at full 720×380 resolution. Such transmission paths allows for operation in relation to various hard disk drives including one inch to 1.8 inch drives. It should be noted that while three separate antennae 341, 342, 343 are shown, that some embodiments may utilize a single antenna capable of use by all of the implemented transmission paths.
  • In other cases, the bandwidth supported by the transmission paths is 1.5 Mbits/sec per path. In yet other cases, higher bandwidth transmission paths may be utilized. In some particular cases, the bandwidth of one or more of transmission paths 330 are less than 1 Mbit/sec which is sufficient for use in relation with various consumer audio and phone devices. Particular embodiments of the present invention provides an overall bandwidth of 3 Mbit/sec that is sufficient for a serial data stream and two to three audio streams simultaneously. Further, some embodiments of the present invention incorporate a USB 2.0 port for high speed upload and download capability. In some cases, the USB port is implemented as a wireless port, while in other cases the USB port is a wired port. Based on the disclosure provided herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a variety of wireless transmission protocols that may be supported by one or more of transmission paths 330, and the circuitry implemented to support such transmission paths.
  • UMCS 300 also includes a memory system comprising a flash memory 358 and a system memory 354 electrically coupled to processor 310 via system bus 310. It should be noted that based on the disclosure provided herein that one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a number of memory system designs that may be used depending upon the desired characteristics and operational requirements of the end device. Processor 310 is also electrically coupled to an I/O controller 360 that in some cases is integrated into processor 310 and in other cases is a separate device. I/O controller 360 provides capability for UMCS 300 to interact via one or more of a USB bus, a 1394 (i.e., firewire) bus, a UART, a keyboard, a mouse, and/or a display. Interaction via a USB bus includes use of a USB PHY 361 and USB connector 371. Interaction via 1394 includes use of a 1394 PHY 362 and 1394 connector 372. Interaction via a UART includes use of a UART transmitter/receiver 363. Interaction via a keyboard, mouse and/or display includes the appropriate connectors 374, 375, 376 and internal drivers 364, 365, 366. UMCS 300 further includes a power interface 380 that is capable of regulating power from a rechargeable power source 382. Further, UMCS 300 may include an audio CODEC interface 390 capable of providing audio in and out capabilities to UMCS 300 through use of processor 310.
  • In operation, a content object may be received via one of antennae 341, 342, 343 and transferred to hard disk drive 305 under direction of processor 310. In some cases, multiple content objects may be received or transmitted by using multiple of antennas 341, 342, 343. Thus, as just one particular example, UMCS 300 may be receiving a video content object from a content provider and transmitting the same video content object to a UMCS enabled television capable of decoding the content object. In such a case, reception and buffering of the content object is performed by one of transmission paths 330 and the received content is provided to hard disk drive 305 under the direction of processor 310. At the same time, the content object is retrieved by processor 310 from hard disk drive 305, and unwrapped using a digital rights management protocol indicated by the particular content. In addition, processor 310 authenticates the television via another of transmission paths 330 and transmits the unwrapped content to the television. Based on the disclosure provided herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a variety of combinations of transmission and reception that are possible using UMCS devices in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention. For example, three content objects may be simultaneously received and stored or three content objects may be distributed simultaneously.
  • The interaction between flash memory 358, hard disk drive 305 and processor 310 may be carefully tailored to assure power savings. Such power management is more fully discussed in the application entitled “Systems and Methods for Power Management in Relation to a Wireless Storage Device” that was previously incorporated herein by reference for all purposes.
  • Turning to FIGS. 3 b and 3 c, two approaches to partitioning the memory of UMCS 300 are graphically depicted. In particular, FIG. 3 b shows a non-volatile memory 392 that is partitioned into three memory areas: a private memory 394, a sharable memory 396, and a public memory 398. Content objects maintained in private memory 394 are only accessible to master devices. As used herein, the phrase “master devices” is used to mean a device that is communicably coupled to UMCS 300 and has been associated with a user that controls the content of UMCS 300. In contrast, content objects maintained in sharable memory would be those content objects that are intended to be accessed by non-master devices either by invitation from a master device, or upon authorization received from a master device. Public memory 398 includes content objects that are freely accessible to any device without authorization. It should be noted that the various memory partitions may be contiguous regions of non-volatile memory 392. Such an approach allows for a determination of sharing status based on memory address. Thus, for example, when a content menu is served to a requesting device, only the content objects in a memory region consistent with the authorization level of the device receiving the menu would be shown. In particular, where the device receiving the menu is not authorized, only content objects in public memory 398 are shown to the device. An authorized device would see content objects in both sharable memory 396 and public memory 398. A master device would receive a list of all content objects available from non-volatile memory 392. It should be noted that the various memory regions need not be contiguous in non-volatile memory 392. Rather, in some embodiments of the invention, each content object may be marked individually in non-volatile memory to indicate the sharing status of the particular content object. Similar menu distribution may be performed in such a case.
  • FIG. 3 c shows another approach to rendering content objects sharable. In particular, all content objects are maintained on a non-volatile memory 391, and are all considered private. When an approved request to share a content object is received, the particular content object(s) is/are transferred to a sharable memory partition 395. From here, the content objects maintained in sharable memory 395 are accessible to authorized sharing devices. The transferred content objects remain in volatile memory 393 until power is cycled to UMCS 300, or until one or more content objects have to be moved out of volatile memory 393 due to space limitations. In some cases, a least frequently used algorithm may be utilized to rotate content objects out of volatile memory 393. Based on the disclosure provided herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a variety of approaches for partitioning volatile memory 393 and for rotating content objects in and out of volatile memory 393 in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention.
  • Turning to FIG. 4 a, a flow diagram 400 depicts a method in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention for receiving one or more content objects, and for rendering the received content objects as sharable or private as part of the process of receiving the content object(s). Following flow diagram 400, a content object is received from a source of content objects (block 410). This may include, for example, downloading an audio content object from a retail site offering music CDs. As another example, this may include downloading a video content object from a retail site offering video content. Based on the disclosure provided herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a variety of content sources and content object types that may be received in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention. Reception of a content object typically follows a request or purchase of the content object. In assembling the request for the content object, a user may indicate that the content object is to be maintained as public, sharable, or private. In some cases, the provider of a content object may not allow a particular content object to be marked as public, and in some cases may not allow the content object to be marked as sharable. Thus, digital rights management implemented may override a user's direction as to access limits on a particular content object.
  • In any event, an access status of the content object is queried when the content object is received to determine if the content object is to be stored in a public memory partition (block 415) Where the content object is indicated as public (block 415), it is stored to the public memory partition (block 425). Alternatively, where the content object is indicated as sharable (block 420), it is stored to the sharable memory partition (block 435). Where the content object is not marked as either public or sharable (blocks 415, 420), the content object is stored to the private memory partition (block 430).
  • Turning to FIG. 4 b, a flow diagram 401 depicts a method for servicing a content object request in accordance with various embodiments of the present invention. Following flow diagram 403, a request for a content object is received (block 403). It is determined if the requested content object is maintained as public (block 406). This determination may be made based on a memory partition in which the requested content object resides, or based on one or more status indicators stored in relation to the requested content object. Where it is determined that the requested content object is marked as public (block 406), the content object is accessed and distributed in accordance with the request (blocks (412, 418).
  • Alternatively, where the requested content object is not marked as public (block 406), it is determined if the content object is marked as sharable (block 409). Where the content object is marked as sharable (block 409), it is determined if the device to which the content object is to be shared is an authorized recipient of the content object (block 433). This may include determining whether the proposed recipient device was previously identified by a master device as an authorized device. Alternatively, this may include requesting access, at which time a communicably coupled master device is requested to authorize the access. Based on the disclosure provided herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a variety of approaches that may be used to authorize a requesting device to access a content object. Where the recipient device is authorized, the content object is accessed and distributed in accordance with the request (blocks 436, 439). Alternatively, where the device to which the content object is to be shared is not an authorized recipient of the content object (block 433), a message denying the request is returned to the requester (block 442).
  • Where the requested content object is not marked as public (block 406) and not marked as sharable (block 409), it is determined if the device to which the content object is to be shared is an authorized recipient of the content object (block 421). Where the recipient device is authorized, the content object is accessed and distributed in accordance with the request (blocks (436, 439). Alternatively, where the device to which the content object is to be shared is not an authorized recipient of the content object (block 433), a message denying the request is returned to the requestor (block 442).
  • Turning to FIG. 5, a system 500 for sharing content objects via one or more wireless interfaces of a UMCS device 510 is shown. UMCS device 510 may be any wireless or mobile storage device such as, for example, those described above in relation to FIGS. 1-3. UMCS device 510 is communicably coupled to at least one master device 540 and one or more sharing devices 520, 530. Master device 540 may be, but is not limited to a cellular telephone, a personal digital assistant, a laptop computer, or the like that has been registered with UMCS 510 or is otherwise known to UMCS 510. Sharing devices may be, but are not limited to, cellular telephones, digital audio players, digital video players, personal digital assistants, laptop computers, or the like that are not regularly known to UMCS device 510, but rather have to occasionally be re-authorized to UMCS 510. In some cases, both sharing devices 520, 530 and master device 540 include a graphical user interface.
  • In operation, master device 540 may access any content objects maintained on UMCS 510 whether the content object be identified as public, sharable or private. Further, master device 540 may cause additional content objects to be loaded onto UMCS 510 or to cause content objects to be deleted from UMCS 510. Once authorized, sharing devices 520, 530 may access any content object that is identified within the range of their access. Thus, for example, where a sharing device is authorized to access all sharable content objects, the sharing device may request an indication of all available content objects that are identified as sharable. Further, the sharing device can request and receive any of the content objects that are identified as sharable. It should be noted that a number of sharing devices and a number of master devices may be included in system 500.
  • In some embodiments of the present invention, a system such as system 500 may be used to implement a Digital Campfire™. Such a Digital Campfire™ allows a number of participants to view or listen to a particular content simultaneously. Using a music content object as an example, each of the participants may access UMCS 510 requesting the same music content object or a play list of content objects. The requested content object(s) is/are then uploaded to devices maintained by each of the participants (e.g., master device 540, and sharing devices 520, 530). The requested music is then played for each of the participants who may be listening via headphones attached to a respective sharing or master device. A similar process may be used for sharing access to a video content object. Based on the disclosure provided herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a variety of sharing scenarios that may be enabled using systems such as system 500.
  • Turning to FIGS. 6 a-6 b, approaches in accordance with one or more embodiments of the present invention for authorizing sharing scenarios discussed in relation to FIG. 5 are graphically depicted as flow diagrams 600, 620. In particular, flow diagram 600 depicts a method for authorizing sharing where the request to authorize sharing is received from a master device. Following flow diagram 600, an invitation to share is received from a master device at the UMCS (block 602). The invitation to share may identify a number of content objects that are being designated as sharable, or may indicate a class of content objects that are to be made sharable. The identified content objects are marked sharable (block 604). Thus, for example, where content objects are generally maintained as private, the invitation may cause one or more of the content objects to be marked as sharable. In other cases, one or more content objects that are sharable may be moved from a non-volatile memory area to a volatile memory partition that is indicated as sharable. Based on the disclosure provided herein, one of ordinary skill in the art will recognize a variety of approaches for indicating access parameters for content objects that may be used in relation to one or more embodiments of the present invention.
  • Further, the invitation to share ay indicate one or more sharing devices (block 608). The sharing devices are indicated in an authorized device list that is maintained by the UMCS. By so identifying one or more sharing devices, when a request is received from a particular sharing device for a content object identified as sharable, the request may be serviced without requiring additional authorization from a master device communicably coupled to the UMCS. Once the invitation has been received and the actions requisite to sharing complete (blocks 602, 604, 608), the UMCS device awaits requests from one or more identified sharing devices.
  • Turning to FIG. 6 b, flow diagram 620 depicts a method for authorizing sharing where the request to authorize sharing is received from a non-master device. Following flow diagram 620, a request to share content from a non-master device is received by the UMCS (block 623). The request may include an identification of the device making the request and/or an identification of the person controlling the device making the request. It is then determined if the requesting device has already been authorized (block 626). This may include accessing a list of authorized devices and comparing the requesting device against those in the list. Where the requesting device has not been previously authorized (block 626), an authorization request is uploaded from the UMCS to a communicably coupled master device (block 629). This may include providing content to drive a graphical user interface of the master device. This approach to a remote graphical user interface is discussed above in relation to FIG. 2. A response from the master device is then awaited. Where a negative response is received (block 632), a message denying the request to share is sent to the requesting device (block 641).
  • Alternatively, where an affirmative response is received from the master device (block 632), a menu of shared content objects (i.e., content objects available to the requesting device) is uploaded to the requesting device (block 635). This menu information may drive a graphical user interface of the requesting device using a process similar to that described above in relation to FIG. 2. The UMCS device then awaits a request for a particular content object available to the requesting device. When a request for a content object is received (block 638), the requested content object is accessed and distributed to the requesting device (blocks 644, 647).
  • In conclusion, the present invention provides novel systems, devices, methods and arrangements for implementing multi-user content object sharing environments. It should be noted that while a number of different data sharing approaches have been discussed herein, that one of ordinary skill in the art upon reading this disclosure would appreciate other approaches that may be implemented in accordance with various embodiments of the present invention. In particular, while detailed descriptions of one or more embodiments of the invention have been given above, various alternatives, modifications, and equivalents will be apparent to those skilled in the art without varying from the spirit of the invention. Therefore, the above description should not be taken as limiting the scope of the invention, which is defined by the appended claims.

Claims (25)

  1. 1. (canceled)
  2. 2. The method of claim 27, wherein the master device includes a graphical user interface, wherein the request to share is received from the sharing device, and wherein the method further comprises:
    providing an information set to the master device, wherein the information set is used to drive an authorization request presented via the graphical user interface of the master device; and
    wherein authorizing the request to share includes receiving a response via the graphical user interface of the master device.
  3. 3. The method of claim 27, wherein the master device is selected from a group consisting of: a cellular telephone, an audio player, a video player, and a personal digital assistant.
  4. 4. The method of claim 27, wherein the sharing device is selected from a group consisting of: a cellular telephone, an audio player, a video player, and a personal digital assistant.
  5. 5. The method of claim 27, wherein the master device is communicably coupled to the wireless storage device using a wireless network selected from a group consisting of: a WiFi network and a Bluetooth network.
  6. 6. The method of claim 27, wherein the request to share is received from the master device, and wherein authorizing the request to share is implicit in the request to share.
  7. 7. The method of claim 27, wherein the method further comprises:
    providing an information set to the sharing device, wherein the information set is used to drive an available content object menu via the graphical user interface of the sharing device.
  8. 8. The method of claim 7, wherein the method further comprises:
    receiving a request for a content object via the graphical user interface of the sharing device.
  9. 9. The method of claim 8, wherein the method further comprises:
    distributing the requested content object to the sharing device.
  10. 10. The method of claim 9, wherein distributing the requested content object to the sharing device includes streaming the requested content object in a way that complies with a digital rights management scheme associated with the requested content object.
  11. 11. The method of claim 27, wherein the method further comprises:
    receiving a request for a content object; and
    distributing the requested content object to both the master device and the sharing device simultaneously.
  12. 12. The method of claim 11, wherein the request is received from a device selected from a group consisting of: the sharing device, the master device, and both the sharing device and the master device.
  13. 13. (canceled)
  14. 14. The system of claim 28, wherein the memory further includes instructions executable by the processor to:
    upload an information set to the master device, wherein the information set is used to drive an available content object menu via the graphical user interface of the master device, wherein the available content object menu includes the first content object and the second content object.
  15. 15. The system of claim 28, wherein the memory further includes instructions executable by the processor to:
    upload an information set to the sharing device, wherein the information set is used to drive an available content object menu via the graphical user interface of the sharing device, wherein the available content object menu includes the second content object.
  16. 16. The system of claim 28, wherein the first wireless interface is selected from a group consisting of: a WiFi interface and a Bluetooth interface.
  17. 17-19. (canceled)
  18. 20. The system of claim 29, wherein the master device includes a graphical user interface, wherein the request to share is received from the sharing device, and wherein the memory further includes instructions executable by the processor to:
    provide an information set to the master device, wherein the information set is used to drive an authorization request presented via the graphical user interface of the master device; and
    wherein authorizing the request to share includes receiving a response via the graphical user interface of the master device.
  19. 21. The system of claim 20, wherein the request to share is received from the master device, and wherein authorizing the request to share is implicit in the request to share.
  20. 22. The system of claim 29, wherein the memory further includes instructions executable by the processor to:
    receive a request for a content object; and
    distribute the requested content object to both the master device and the sharing device simultaneously.
  21. 23. The system of claim 22, wherein the request is received from a device selected from a group consisting of: the sharing device, the master device, and both the sharing device and the master device.
  22. 24-26. (canceled)
  23. 27. A method for sharing content objects, the method comprising:
    providing a wireless storage device, wherein the wireless storage device includes a content object, wherein the wireless storage device is operable to communicably couple to a master device and a sharing device, wherein access to the wireless storage device governed by the master device exclusive of the sharing device;
    receiving a request to share, wherein the request to share identifies the sharing device; and
    authorizing the request to share, wherein the sharing device is authorized to receive the content object.
  24. 28. A system for sharing content objects, the system comprising:
    a wireless storage device, wherein the wireless storage device includes a processor and a memory, wherein the memory includes a non-volatile memory and a volatile memory, wherein the memory includes a first content object and a second content object, wherein the first content object is identified as private, and wherein the second content object is identified as sharable, and wherein the memory includes instructions executable by the processor to:
    communicably couple the wireless storage device to a sharing device via a first wireless interface, wherein the sharing device has access to the second content object, and wherein the sharing device is selected from a group consisting of: a cellular telephone, an audio player, a video player, and a personal digital assistant; and
    communicably couple the wireless storage device to a master device via a second wireless interface, wherein the master device has access to the first content object and to the second content object, and wherein the sharing device is selected from a group consisting of: a cellular telephone, an audio player, a video player, and a personal digital assistant.
  25. 29. A system for sharing content objects, the system comprising:
    a wireless storage device, wherein the wireless storage device includes a processor and a memory, wherein the memory includes a content object, and wherein the memory includes instructions executable by the processor to:
    communicably couple the wireless storage device to a sharing device via a first wireless interface, wherein the sharing device is selected from a group consisting of: a cellular telephone, an audio player, a video player, and a personal digital assistant;
    communicably couple the wireless storage device to a master device via a second wireless interface, wherein the master device is selected from a group consisting of: a cellular telephone, an audio player, a video player, and a personal digital assistant;
    receive a request to share, wherein the request to share identifies the sharing device; and
    authorize the request to share, wherein the sharing device is authorized to receive the content object
US12280779 2006-07-05 2007-06-25 Systems and methods for multi-user access to a wireless storage device Abandoned US20090055408A1 (en)

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