Apple patent filing hints at pursuit of government contracts - Macenstein

Apple patent filing hints at pursuit of government contracts

Posted by iGor

Apple seems to be in a patent-filing frenzy this week. Today’s uncovering of patent filings for a new keyboard with click wheel, buttonless mouse, and new Apple TV media center have got the Mac world buzzing.

However, the patent that we find most interesting patent #30070080945, filed April 11th. The device is innocuously described as a “protective iPod device”, which may help explain why many have glossed over the filing (after all, iPod cases are a dime a dozen these days). However, if one scrolls down the page a bit, we see that the term “protective iPod device” does not pertain to a device protecting the iPod, but rather the iPod being used AS a protecting device.

Abstract: In one embodiment, the continuous application of video iPods to the clothing can serve to protect their wearer from undesirable personal injury caused by any number of potential sources. Additionally, the second mode of operation would allow for the storage and playback of up to 1,200,000 songs, or 6000 hours of video.

While no specific mention of a military application is specified, from the accompanying drawing it is clear that Apple may have been inspired by the recent story of the soldier who’s iPod helped save his life in Iraq.

All this protection will not come cheap, however, as we estimate the vests’ 60 video iPods would cost around $14,940 for the 30 GB model, and a whopping $20,940 for the 80GB model. Even with volume discounts and government breaks, the cost is likely to be substantially higher than that of the normal military-grade flak jackets, currently selling for between $1000 and $1500 each. The iPods also appear to be networked in some way, implying the cost of those additional dock connectors could raise the price even further. However, Apple’s vest would hold a significantly larger number of songs than the standard issue “non-musical body armor” of today’s troops, so for some the choice of an Apple branded flak jacket could make a great deal of sense.

Unless your music library contains over 450,000 songs, we see no reason to go with the higher priced 80GB model, as both iPods are almost virtually identical in thickness and bullet-stopping power.

2 Responses to “Apple patent filing hints at pursuit of government contracts”
  1. telephone guy says:

    This just reminded me of something. You know when you bought army men as a kid and you always got a bunch of the “telephone guy” as we used to call them? (The guy who was always squatting with the CB-like telephone glued to his ear?)

    He was the least cool guy out there. And now I can just picture a similar guy who’s job it is to follow the troops around and charge their iVests.

  2. Colonel Panic says:

    Well, the soldier seems happy. A Happy soldier is a productive soldier. Nothing like being able to listen to Gwen Stefani when in a fire fight. Makes you want to kill something.

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