Vehicle Media Invention Could Propel Flextronics Connected Car Business

Service providers and tech vendors looking to make a business from distributing video programming to connected cars will likely become familiar with San Jose, Calif.-based supply chain solutions provider Flextronics.

The company won a U.S. patent on Tuesday for an invention titled, “On Board Vehicle Media Controller.”

Chris RicciFormer Flextronics Deputy General Counsel Chris Ricci is named as inventor on the patent. Ricci is now general counsel at Mountain View, Calif.-based Elementum SCM. Flextronics is an investor in Elementum, which makes apps for mobile devices that are dedicated to supply chain management.

Flextronics customers include Apple, Alcatel-Lucent, Ford, Ericssson, Huawei, Microsoft, Intel, Hewlett-Packard and Huawei.

Abstract: The present disclosure describes a microprocessor executable media controller operable to receive a media stream from a remote node, the received media stream being for an occupant associated with an on board vehicle input/output system, identify which on board vehicle input/output systems are restricted due to operator command and/or as a result of a governing law, and provide the media stream, in compliance with any restriction, to a selected input/output system associated with the occupant.

Patent

Claims:

  1. A vehicle, comprising: a microprocessor executable media controller executing on the vehicle operable to (a) receive a media stream from a remote node, the vehicle comprising multiple on board vehicle input/output systems at different spatial locations in the vehicle, the received media stream being for at least first and second on board vehicle input/output systems, (b) identify which of the first and second on board vehicle input/output systems are restricted due to operator command and/or as a result of a governing law, and (c) selectively provide the media stream, in compliance with any restriction, to a first set of on board vehicle input/output systems but not to a second set of on board vehicle input/output systems, the first set comprising at least one of the at least first and second on board vehicle input/output systems.
  1. The vehicle of claim 1, wherein the media stream is for all occupants of the vehicle but is provided only to unrestricted input/output systems in the second set of on board vehicle input/output systems, the unrestricted on board vehicle input/output systems being a subset of all input/output systems.
  1. The vehicle of claim 1, wherein the media controller is further operable to receive a command to restrict one or more on board vehicle input/output systems, determine whether the source of the command is authorized and/or privileged to restrict the one or more on board vehicle input/output systems, when the source is authorized and/or privileged, determine, from the command, an appropriate rule set to be implemented, applies the rule set to each on board vehicle input/output system, and, in response and when appropriate, configures and/or reconfigures at least one on board vehicle input/output system and/or a media stream to the at least one on board vehicle input/output system.
  1. The vehicle of claim 1, wherein the on board vehicle input/output systems are in a dependent mode in which common content is provided synchronously to all unrestricted on board vehicle input/output systems in the second set of on board vehicle input/output systems regardless of different content selections of users of each of the on board vehicle input/output systems.
  1. The vehicle of claim 4, wherein the on board vehicle input/output systems are in an independent mode in which different content is provided synchronously to all unrestricted on board vehicle input/output systems in the second set of on board vehicle input/output systems, the different content being controlled by each occupant associated with each on board vehicle input/output system.
  1. The vehicle of claim 5, wherein the restriction is as a result of a governing law and wherein the media controller, for a current satellite-positioning-system based position of the vehicle, current state of the vehicle, and a seating location of a selected on board vehicle input/output system, determines that a law restricts the on board vehicle input/output system from performing at least one of the following functions: texting from an on board vehicle input/output system, displaying streaming video content to an on board vehicle input/output system, initiating and/or continuing a cellular call, and providing a media channel of a multimedia media stream.
  1. The vehicle of claim 6, wherein the selected on board vehicle input/output system is associated with the vehicle operator and the current state of the vehicle is one or more of moving and in gear.
  1. The vehicle of claim 7, wherein the function is providing a media channel of a multimedia media stream and wherein the media controller presents a first channel, but not a second, of the multimedia stream to a restricted on board vehicle input/output system in the first set of on board vehicle input/output systems.
  1. The vehicle of claim 1, wherein the media controller is further operable (a) to determine a first spatial location of an external communication device, the external communication device being in wireless communication with the on board media controller and the first spatial location being associated with a first set of restrictions, the first set of restrictions being at least one of a control on connectivity access by the external communication device, a restriction on the connectivity access, and a restriction on one or more functions of the external communication device and (b), in response, to apply the first set of restrictions.
  1. The vehicle of claim 9, wherein, as a result of applying the first set of restrictions, the media controller declines to accept connectivity access by the external communication device.
  1. The vehicle of claim 9, wherein, as a result of applying the first set of restrictions, the media controller applies a restriction on the connectivity access.
  1. The vehicle of claim 9, wherein, as a result of applying the first set of restrictions, the media controller restricts the one or more functions of the external communication device.
  1. The vehicle of claim 9, wherein the media controller measures, at a plurality of connectivity access points, a respective signal strength associated with a transmission by the external communication device, and, based on the measurements, determines the first spatial location by triangulation.
  1. The vehicle of claim 9, wherein a second spatial location is associated with a second set of restrictions, the first and second sets of restrictions being different from one another.
  1. The vehicle of claim 14, wherein the media controller monitors the external communication for a change from the first to the second spatial locations and, upon detecting the change, applies the second set of restrictions.
  1. A method, comprising: receiving, by a microprocessor executable media controller on board a vehicle, a signal from a local and/or remote node of a network, wherein the vehicle comprises multiple on board vehicle input/output systems at different spatial locations in the vehicle; determining, by the microprocessor executable media controller, which of the multiple on board vehicle input/output systems are to receive the payload of the signal, the signal to be provided to multiple of the on board vehicle input/output systems; determining, by the microprocessor executable media controller, a pertinent rule set; determining, by the microprocessor executable media controller and based on the pertinent rule set whether all or part of the payload can be presented to each of the multiple on board input/output systems; and if permitted, providing, by the microprocessor executable media controller, the all or part of the payload to at least one unrestricted on board vehicle input/output system but not to at least one restricted on board vehicle input/output system.
  1. The method of claim 1, further comprising: receiving, by the media controller, a command to restrict one or more on board vehicle input/output systems; determining, by the media controller, whether the source of the command is authorized and/or privileged to restrict the one or more on board vehicle input/output systems; when the source is authorized and/or privileged, determining, by the media controller and from the command, an appropriate rule set to be implemented; applying, by the media controller, the rule set to each on board vehicle input/output system; and in response and when appropriate, configuring and/or reconfiguring, by the media controller, at least one on board vehicle input/output system and/or a media stream to the at least one on board vehicle input/output system.
  1. The method of claim 16, wherein the media stream is for all occupants of the vehicle but is provided only to unrestricted on board vehicle input/output systems and not to restricted on board vehicle input/output systems, the unrestricted on board vehicle input/output systems being a subset of all on board vehicle input/output systems.
  1. The method of claim 18, wherein the on board vehicle input/output systems are in a dependent mode in which common content is provided synchronously to all unrestricted on board vehicle input/output systems regardless of different content selections of users of each of the on board vehicle input/output systems.
  1. The method of claim 19, wherein the on board vehicle input/output systems are in an independent mode in which different content is provided synchronously to all unrestricted on board vehicle input/output systems, the different content being controlled by each occupant associated with each on board vehicle input/output system.
  1. The method of claim 20, wherein a restriction in the rule set is as a result of a governing law and wherein the media controller, for a current satellite-positioning-system based position of the vehicle, current state of the vehicle, and a seating location of a selected on board vehicle input/output system, determines that a law restricts the selected on board vehicle input/output system from performing at least one of the following functions: texting from an on board vehicle input/output system, displaying streaming video content to an on board vehicle input/output system, initiating and/or continuing a cellular call, and providing a media channel of a multimedia media stream.
  1. The method of claim 21, wherein the selected on board vehicle input/output system is associated with the vehicle operator and the current state of the vehicle is one or more of moving and in gear.
  1. The method of claim 22, wherein a function of the selected on board vehicle input/output system is restricted by the rule set and wherein the function is providing a media channel of a multimedia media stream and wherein the media controller presents a first channel, but not a second, of the multimedia stream to the selected on board vehicle input/output system.
  1. A non-transient, tangible computer readable medium comprising a microprocessor executable media controller on board a vehicle, comprising plural on board vehicle input/output systems located at different spatial locations in the vehicle, that, when executed, (a) receives a signal from a local and/or remote node of a network, (b) determines which of the plural on board vehicle input/output systems are to receive the payload of the signal, (c) determines, based at least in part on a corresponding spatial location of a selected one of the on board vehicle input/output systems, (d) a rule set corresponding to the selected one of the on board vehicle input/output systems, (e) determines, based on the corresponding rule set whether all or part of the payload can be presented to the selected input/output system, (f) when permitted, provides the all or part of the payload to the selected on board vehicle input/output system, and (g) when not permitted, does not provide the all or part of the payload to the selected on board vehicle input/output system.
  1. The computer readable medium of claim 24, wherein, when the all or part of the payload is not provided to the selected on board vehicle input/output system, the selected on board vehicle input/output system is restricted, wherein, wherein, when the all or part of the payload is provided to the selected on board vehicle input/output system, the selected on board vehicle input/output system is unrestricted, and wherein the media stream is for all occupants of the vehicle but is provided only to unrestricted on board vehicle input/output systems, the unrestricted on board vehicle input/output systems being a subset of all on board vehicle input/output systems on board the vehicle.
  1. The computer readable medium of claim 24, wherein the media controller, when executed, further performs the following operations: receiving a command to restrict one or more on board vehicle input/output systems; determining whether the source of the command is authorized and/or privileged to restrict the one or more on board vehicle input/output systems; when the source is authorized and/or privileged, determining, from the command, an appropriate rule set to be implemented; applying the rule set to each on board vehicle input/output system; and in response and when appropriate, configuring and/or reconfiguring at least one on board vehicle input/output system and/or a media stream to the at least one on board vehicle input/output system.
  1. A method performed by the media controller of claim 24.
  1. A vehicle comprising the computer readable medium of claim 24.
  1. The computer readable medium of claim 24, wherein the signal is provided to unrestricted on board vehicle input/output systems but not to restricted on board vehicle input/output systems wherein the on board vehicle input/output systems are in a dependent mode in which common content is provided synchronously to all unrestricted on board vehicle input/output systems regardless of different content selections of users of each of the on board vehicle input/output systems.
  1. The computer readable medium of claim 25, wherein the on board vehicle input/output systems are in an independent mode in which different content is provided synchronously to all unrestricted on board vehicle input/output systems, the different content being controlled by each occupant associated with each input/output system.
  1. The computer readable medium of claim 30, wherein a restriction in the rule set is as a result of a governing law and wherein the media controller, for a current satellite-positioning-system based position of the vehicle, current state of the vehicle, and a spatial location of a selected input/output system, determines that a law restricts the on board vehicle input/output system from performing at least one of the following functions: texting from an on board vehicle input/output system, displaying streaming video content to an on board vehicle input/output system, initiating and/or continuing a cellular call, and providing a media channel of a multimedia media stream.
  1. The computer readable medium of claim 31, wherein the selected on board vehicle input/output system is associated with the vehicle operator and the current state of the vehicle is one or more of moving and in gear.
  1. The computer readable medium of claim 32, wherein a function of the selected on board vehicle input/output system is restricted by the rule set and wherein the function is providing a media channel of a multimedia media stream and wherein the media controller presents a first channel, but not a second, of the multimedia stream to the selected on board vehicle input/output system.