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Saturday, November 13, 2004, 12:00 pm PT (03:00 pm ET)

Document reveals iPod with wireless capabilities

Analysts don't foresee an Apple iPod with wireless capabilities emerging anytime soon, but a newly obtained document provides incontrovertible evidence that the company has been experimenting with wireless iPods for nearly two years.

A patent application submitted to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and recently obtained by AppleInsider, appears to portray an Apple iPod with wireless capabilities, including the ability to broadcast music to other devices.

The document's abstract begins, "One aspect of the media player system pertains to a docking station that allows a media player to communicate with other media devices. Another aspect of the media player system pertains to a wireless media player system that includes a hand held media player capable of transmitting information over a wireless connection and one or more media devices capable of receiving information over the wireless connection. Another aspect of the media player system pertains to a method of wirelessly connecting the hand held media player to another device. The method includes selecting a media item on the hand held media player; selecting one or more remote recipients on the hand held media player; and transmitting the media item locally to the hand held media player, and wirelessly to the selected remote recipients."



The document goes on to describe an iPod that can wirelessly transmit music and other information to other media systems: "Another aspect of the media player system pertains to a hand held music player that includes a transmitter for transmitting information over a wireless connection. The transmitter is configured to at least transmit a continuous music feed to one or more personal tuning devices that each include a receiver capable of receiving information from the transmitter over the wireless connection. Yet another aspect of the media player system pertains to a connector that includes a housing and a plurality of spatially separated contacts mounted within the housing. A first set of contacts are directed at a first functionality and a second set of contacts are directed at a second functionality that is different than the first functionality."

Apple filed for the patent on April 25, 2003. The document credits the technology to Anthony Fadell, Stephen Zadesky, and John Benjamin.

Earlier this year, AppleInsider noted that Apple was seeking a new member for its iPod hardware engineering division that was experienced in integrating both various wireless communication technologies as well as video.