GM’s Car-based Multimedia Infrastructure

GM wants to build you a car-based multimedia infrastructure. They envision a system for moving content from various home and portable devices into your car for storage, organization, and presentation. Oh yeah, they want to enforce DRM by tying content to your vehicle identification number (VIN) — surely that’s a first!

GM’s Patent Application says: Apparatus are provided for navigation of multimedia content in a vehicle multimedia system having an embedded database of multimedia files. A navigation interface for controlling playback of the multimedia files and includes a processing unit, an input unit coupled to the processing unit, and a display coupled to the processing unit. The processing unit is configured to couple with the embedded database, determine a playback frequency for each of the multimedia files, and generate a playlist of multimedia files based on the playback frequency. The input unit is configured to initiate playback of the playlist. The display is configured to display the playlist.

[0030] The hard drive 32 has an embedded database containing a list of multimedia file content and stores multimedia files such as found on conventional CDs, DVDs, and other storage mediums. Multimedia files may be downloaded to the data storage device 36 from any number of devices. As best shown in FIG. 2, multimedia files may be downloaded to the data storage device 36 from a conventional CD 40, a compressed audio CD 38 that may be used to store compressed digital audio files such as MP3 files or the like, a portable storage/player device 42 such as a DVD player, a video content storage/player device 46 such as a digital video recorder (DVR), and a personal computer 44. In one exemplary embodiment, the multimedia files are stored as compressed files on the hard drive 32.

[0031] To preserve DRM protected multimedia files, a public key encoding system may be used to encrypt such multimedia files. For example, a vehicle identification number (VIN) may be used as the public key. In a wireless transfer configuration, the vehicle’s public key may be transmitted over the wireless network to the remotely connected personal computer 44, portable storage/player device 42, video content storage/player device 46, or remote data storage device 26 (FIG. 1) to be used for encrypting content. For an end-to-end DRM scheme, the originating vehicle, such as the vehicle 12 shown in FIG. 1, may authenticate using the VIN as the public key before transfer of content thereto while also preserving DRM protected content from subsequent transfer out of the vehicle 12.

3 thoughts on “GM’s Car-based Multimedia Infrastructure”

  1. Wow… that’d be extremely amusing if your identification of the make/model is correct! I assume most of these folks are getting their line art from royalty-free collections (CD or bundled with various apps), but who knows… The Lucent sleep-detecting DVR head/face looked hand-drawn.

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