Apple’s Automatic Station Tuning Patent

It’s not here, but Apple was awarded a patent for it.

I’ve been personally waiting for something like this for a while. Apple knows enough about our behaviors at this point to be able to pull together some content it predicts we’d like. But this is the kicker… it will pull radio, music, television, movies, onboard media, etc. For a media player or mobile device… so iPhones to iPod Touches to Apple TVs to … ?

So this can pretty much ditch the user needing to navigate to media specific areas of a UI to access content they’d likely choose anyway. You can serve all of it up in a single channel. If you’d like to specifically pick media to enjoy, that would be available too (I’d assume).

I’ve read rumors and comments online stemming from this patent discovery that it would dovetail nicely into iRadio. I personally think it would be larger than that… and in the reverse iRadio content would fit into this smart Tuning ecosystem.

It is a six-year old patent… and we haven’t seen anything from it. But it could be a piece of the Apple TV roadmap. Or something they’ve played around with that isn’t robust enough to deploy. I’m sure this patent was difficult to get too as the recommendation space has been pretty full for years.

A plausible experience

I imagine turning something on or firing up an application and the first things I see are options presented to me that I might enjoy watching or listening to. Things that were brand new mixed with a few things that I go to often enough to illicit a favorable response seeing represented. Swipe an item away and it could be replaced with something else the system might think you’d like to experience. Tap into a suggestion to find out more or start it up straight away… if I continue listening to or watching it – looks like it was a decent match. Refine a little further next time using that new data point. Over time it could be whittled down into a very strong recommendation engine. If the media was tagged in a way that allowed them to be picked up correctly, you’ve got yourself something special. It could even whittle down to “watch” and “listen” and “choose” and that’s it. It would know and you’d be happy.

What do you think Apple or anyone else for that matter might want to do with such a technology idea? Would you like to use it?

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