Identifying and presenting information based on unique vehicle

Identifying and presenting information based on unique vehicle
US 20140077972A1
(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2014/0077972 A1
(43) Pub. Date:
Rathi et al.
(54)
IDENTIFYING AND PRESENTING
(52)
INFORMATION BASED ON UNIQUE
Mar. 20, 2014
US. Cl.
USPC
........................................................ ..
340/902
VEHICLE IDENTIFIER
(71) Applicant: APPLE INC., Cupertino, CA (US)
(57)
(72) Inventors: Shailesh Rathi, San Jose, CA (US);
A portable electronic device can be used to present vehicle
speci?c information to a user. The portable electronic device
Robert J. Walsh, Sunnyvale, CA (US)
ABSTRACT
can receive a message transmitted from a vehicle, the mes
(73) Assignee: Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA (US)
(21) Appl. No.: 13/623,562
Sep. 20, 2012
(22) Filed:
Publication Classi?cation
(51)
can identify content based at least in part on the unique
vehicle identi?er, and present the content to the user. In some
instances, the content may be presented to the user as audio
output and/ or visually on a display screen. Input can also be
received from the user, and the portable electronic device can
identify the content based in part on the received input and in
part on the unique vehicle identi?er.
Int. Cl.
G08G 1/00
sage including a unique vehicle identi?er such as vehicle
identi?cation number (VIN). The portable electronic device
(2006.01)
5912
502%
Establish Communication
with Vehicle
i
Transmit Request for
Unique Vehicle Identifier
i
Receive Unique Vehicle
Identifier
i
Receive User Input
i
Determine Device Location
i
Identify and Retrieve
Content Based on Unique
512’'\/ Vehicle Identifier, User Input
and Device Location
i
Present Content to User
Patent Application Publication
Mar. 20, 2014 Sheet 1 0f 5
US 2014/0077972 A1
110
1 04
\EF/GD
106
FIG. 1
Patent Application Publication
222/
Mar. 20, 2014 Sheet 2 0f 5
US 2014/0077972 A1
STORAGE
NETWORK
DEVICE
INTERFACE
220\
/226
PROCESSOR
224\
\
USER
INTERFACE
228\\_
PORTABLE
ELECTRONIC
DEVICE
VEHICLE
INTERFACE
&
DEV|CE
VEHICLE
INTERFACE
236
M
230
COMMUNICATION
MODULE
—
232
234/
CONTROLLER
vEI-IICLE
SPECIFIC
HARDWARE
FIG. 2
Patent Application Publication
Mar. 20, 2014 Sheet 3 0f 5
OO
'00
302m
Establish Communication
with Vehicle
l
304m’
Transmit Request for
Unique Vehicle Identifier
1
Receive Unique Vehicle
306’\/
Identifier
l
Identify and Retrieve
308,» Content Based on Unique
Vehicle Identifier
1
310m,
Present Content to User
End
FIG. 3
US 2014/0077972 A1
Patent Application Publication
Mar. 20, 2014 Sheet 4 0f 5
40
402“
Establish Communication
with Vehicle
1
404’\/
Transmit Request for
Unique Vehicle Identifier
Receive Unique Vehicle
406’\/
Identifier
408w
Receive User Input
i
Identify and Retrieve
Content Based on Unique
410/\, Vehicle Identifier and User
Input
1
412m,
Present Content to User
End
FIG. 4
US 2014/0077972 A1
Patent Application Publication
Mar. 20, 2014 Sheet 5 0f 5
O0
502%
Establish Communication
with Vehicle
i
Transmit Request for
Unique Vehicle Identifier
i
Receive Unique Vehicle
Iden??er
i
Receive User Input
i
Determine Device Location
i
Identify and Retrieve
Content Based on Unique
Vehicle Identifier, User Input
and Device Location
+
Present Content to User
End
FIG. 5
US 2014/0077972 A1
US 2014/0077972 A1
IDENTIFYING AND PRESENTING
identi?er of a replacement part, an identi?er of a merchant
INFORMATION BASED ON UNIQUE
offering the replacement part for sale, a user manual, a year,
VEHICLE IDENTIFIER
a make, a model, a color, a year, and/or other speci?cation for
the vehicle.
[0007] In some embodiments, the user interface of the por
table electronic device can be con?gured to receive user input
from the user, and the processor can be con?gured to identify
the content based in part on the user input received from the
user and in part on the unique vehicle identi?er received from
the vehicle.
[0008] For example, in some embodiments, the user inter
face of the portable electronic device can include an audio
BACKGROUND
[0001]
The present disclosure relates generally to commu
nication between a portable electronic device and a vehicle
and more particularly to using a portable electronic device to
identify and present information based on a unique vehicle
identi?er.
[0002]
There are many situations Where a user may Want to
knoW information about a vehicle. For example, if the user is
operating an unfamiliar vehicle, the user may Want to knoW
the location and functionality of the vehicle’ s user controls, a
recommended fuel or oil type for the vehicle, or other infor
mation. Vehicle manufacturers often issue user manuals con
taining such information. Reviewing a user manual, hoWever,
can be quite time consuming, and in some instances a user
manual may not be present for the user to revieW.
[0003] A user may also Want to knoW information about
vehicle-speci?c replacement parts. A replacement part for
one vehicle may not be compatible With another. Conse
quently, replacement parts are typically assigned a number or
code by the part manufacturer. To ensure that the appropriate
part is purchased, the user may need to knoW the vehicle
speci?c part number. Moreover, the user may Want to knoW
the location of a nearby merchant offering the vehicle-spe
ci?c replacement part for sale. The user can locate a merchant
that generally sells replacement parts, but the merchant may
not offer the vehicle-speci?c replacement part for sale or may
not have the required part in stock. Alternatively, the user can
take the vehicle to a mechanic to make the repair, but this can
be unnecessarily time consuming and costly.
[0004] Many vehicles currently incorporate sophisticated
computer systems including interfaces that support various
communication standards such as Bluetooth, WiFi, 4G, and
the like. Moreover, portable electronic devices (e.g., smart
phones, tablet computers, media players, and the like) also
currently incorporate interfaces that support such communi
cation standards.
SUMMARY
[0005]
Mar. 20, 2014
According to various embodiments of the present
interface con?gured to receive audio input from the user, and
the processor of the portable electronic device can be con?g
ured to identify the content based in part on the audio input
and in part on the unique vehicle identi?er. In some embodi
ments, the processor of the portable electronic device can be
con?gured to generate audio output based on the identi?ed
content, and present the audio output to the user via the audio
interface.
[0009] As another example, in some embodiments, the user
interface of the portable electronic device can include a touch
interface con?gured to receive touch input from the user, and
the processor of the portable electronic device can be con?g
ured to identify the content based in part on the touch input
and in part on the unique vehicle identi?er. In some embodi
ments, the touch interface can include a display screen, and
the processor of the portable electronic device can be con?g
ured to generate visual output based on the identi?ed content,
and present the visual output to the user via the display screen
of the touch interface.
[0010] Embodiments of the present invention can utiliZe
any suitable combination of user interfaces described herein
to receive user input and/or to present identi?ed content to the
user.
[0011]
In some embodiments, the processor of the portable
electronic device can be further con?gured to determine a
geographic location of the portable electronic device, and can
identify the content based in part on the geographic location
and in part on the unique vehicle identi?er received from the
vehicle. In some embodiments, the identi?cation can be fur
ther based on input received from the user.
[0012] The folloWing detailed description together With the
accompanying draWings Will provide a better understanding
invention, a portable electronic device can be used to present
vehicle-speci?c information to a user. The portable electronic
device can include a vehicle interface con?gured to exchange
messages With a vehicle, and a processor coupled to the
vehicle interface. The portable electronic device can receive a
of the nature and advantages of the present invention.
message from the vehicle, the message containing a unique
vehicle identi?er. In some embodiments, the unique vehicle
tronic device, a vehicle, and a netWork according to an
embodiment of the invention.
identi?er can be a vehicle identi?cation number (VIN) or one
[0014] FIG. 2 is a simpli?ed block diagram of a system
including a portable electronic device and a vehicle according
or more hash values corresponding to the VIN. Using the
processor, the portable electronic device can identify content
based at least in part on the unique vehicle identi?er. The
content can be stored in a memory of the portable electronic
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
[0013]
FIG. 1 illustrates a system including a portable elec
to an embodiment of the present invention.
[0015] FIG. 3 is a How diagram of a process usable by a
portable electronic device to identify content based on a
device and/ or stored externally and retrieved by the portable
unique vehicle identi?er according to an embodiment of the
electronic device via a netWork. The portable electronic
present invention.
device can further include a user interface coupled to the
processor, and upon identi?cation the content can be pre
sented by the portable electronic device to a user via the user
[0016] FIG. 4 is a How diagram of a process usable by a
portable electronic device to identify content based on a
interface.
[0006] In some embodiments, the content can include a
speci?cation for the vehicle such as a fuel type, an oil type, an
unique vehicle identi?er and user input according to an
embodiment of the present invention.
[0017] FIG. 5 is a How diagram of a process usable by a
portable electronic device to identify content based on a
US 2014/0077972 A1
Mar. 20, 2014
unique vehicle identi?er, user input, and a geographic loca
unique vehicle identi?er (and/or other information) to por
tion of the device according to an embodiment of the present
invention.
table electronic device 102 via a connection 108. In some
embodiments, connection 108 can be a Wireless connection,
According to various embodiments of the present
and messages can be exchanged using any suitable Wireless
protocol. For example, connection 108 can be a short range
Wireless netWork, and portable electronic device 102 can
invention, a portable electronic device can be used to present
vehicle-speci?c information to a user. For example, the por
tooth LE, or any other suitable short range Wireless protocol.
table electronic device can receive a message from a vehicle,
the message containing a unique vehicle identi?er such as a
netWork, and portable electronic device 102 can exchange
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
[0018]
VIN. The portable electronic device can identify content
based at least in part on the unique vehicle identi?er. The
exchange messages With vehicle 104 using Bluetooth, Blue
In another example, connection 108 can be an advanced data
messages With vehicle 104 using 3G, 4G, EDGE, WiFi (e.g.,
the IEEE 802.11 family of standards), or any other suitable
content can be stored in a memory of the portable electronic
device. In some embodiments, at least a portion of the content
Wireless data protocol.
[0024] In some embodiments, portable electronic device
can be stored externally (e.g., on a Web-based server com
102 can include a receptacle connector (not shoWn) for con
necting to a connector (not shoWn) of vehicle 104. For
puter) and retrieved by the portable electronic device via a
Wireless network. The identi?ed content can include, for
example, the receptacle connector of portable electronic
example, one or more speci?cations for the vehicle such as a
device 102 and the connector of vehicle 104 can include a
user manual, year, make, model, color, fuel type, oil type,
replacement part numbers, locations to purchase replacement
parts, and other speci?cations for the vehicle. Upon identi?
cation, the content including the vehicle speci?cations can be
plurality of pins that can carry electrical signals (e.g., mes
sages). The receptacle connector and the connector can be
designed to mate With each other to physically and electri
cally couple the contacts of the receptacle connector With the
presented to the user via a user interface of the portable
connector so that messages can be exchanged betWeen
electronic device (e. g., a speaker, display screen, or the like).
The portable electronic device can also receive user input
(e.g., spoken audio input from the user, touch input, or the
vehicle 104 and portable electronic device 102. In some
embodiments, connection 108 as shoWn in FIG. 1 can include
like), and can identify the content based in part on the user
input and in part on the unique vehicle identi?er received
from the vehicle. The portable electronic device can further
identify the content based on the geographic location of the
device.
[0019] FIG. 1 illustrates a system 100 including a portable
a cable. The cable can include a connector and a receptacle
connector designed to mate With the receptacle connector of
portable electronic device 102 and the connector of vehicle
104, respectively, thus alloWing messages to be exchanged.
For example, vehicle 104 can transmit a message containing
a unique vehicle identi?er to portable electronic device 102
via the cable.
electronic device 102, a vehicle 104, and an external data
[0025] Upon receipt of a message containing the unique
source 110.
vehicle identi?er from vehicle 104 via connection 108, por
[0020]
table electronic device 102 can identify content based at least
in part on the received unique vehicle identi?er. In some
embodiments, the identi?ed content can be stored in a
Portable electronic device 102 can be, for example,
a media player, a smart phone, a personal digital assistant, a
tablet computer, a laptop computer, or any other electronic
device that is portable (e. g., easily carried by a user fromplace
to place) and capable of communicating With other devices.
[0021]
Vehicle 104 can be any suitable transportation
machinery, such as an automobile, a truck, a bus, a tractor, a
golf cart, a go-kart, a motorcycle, a scooter, a bicycle, a
motorized bicycle, a boat, a Watercraft (e.g., a jet-ski), an
aircraft, a laWn moWer, a snoWmobile, a remote controlled
device (e.g., a remote controlled car or airplane), or the like.
[0022]
As described herein, portable electronic device 102
can receive a message from vehicle 104, the message includ
ing a unique vehicle identi?er for the vehicle. For example,
the unique vehicle identi?er can be a VIN or one or more hash
values corresponding to the VIN. A VIN is typically a unique
serial number used by various vehicle industries to identify
individual vehicles. The VIN can be assigned at the time of
manufacturing, and can be determined by any suitable stan
dard such as FMVSS 115, ISO 3779, SAE J853,ADR 61/2, or
the like. Further, the VIN can include 17 alpha-numeric char
acters, for example, that correspond to various speci?cations
for the vehicle such as the manufacturer, the model year, the
manufacturing plant, and attributes of the vehicle such as
make, model, color, and/or the like. In some embodiments,
the unique vehicle identi?er transmitted by vehicle 104 to
memory of portable electronic device 102. The identi?ed
content can also be retrieved from external data source 110
via a Wireless connection 112 in some embodiments. For
example, external data source 110 can include a Web-based
server computer, and Wireless connection 112 can include an
advanced Wireless data netWork supporting communication
protocols such as 3G, 4G, EDGE, WiFi (e.g., the IEEE 802.11
family of standards), or any other suitable Wireless data pro
tocol. In embodiments of the invention, the identi?ed content
can be in part stored in the memory of portable electronic
device 102 and in part retrieved from external data source
110.
[0026]
In some embodiments, the identi?ed content can
include a speci?cation for vehicle 104. For example, the
speci?cation can include one or more of a fuel type, an oil
type, an identi?er of a replacement part, an identi?er of a
merchant offering the replacement part for sale, a user
manual, a year, a make, a model, a color, a year of manufac
ture, and/or any other information associated With vehicle
104.
[0027] Once the content is identi?ed based on the unique
vehicle identi?er, portable electronic device 102 can present
the content to the user via a user interface.
[0028]
It Will be appreciated that the portable electronic
portable electronic device 102 can be any data that corre
sponds to one or more speci?cations for vehicle 104.
[0023] As shoWn in FIG. 1, vehicle 104 can include a con
variations and modi?cations are possible. A portable elec
troller 106 con?gured to transmit a message containing the
tronic device and/or a vehicle can implement any combina
device and the vehicle of FIG. 1 are illustrative and that
US 2014/0077972 A1
tion of functionality. In some embodiments, rather than
receiving a message from the vehicle containing the unique
vehicle identi?er, the portable electronic device can directly
access various modules and/or storage media of the vehicle to
retrieve the unique vehicle identi?er.
[0029] Messages can be exchanged betWeen the portable
electronic device and the vehicle using various formats and
signaling techniques, With details depending on the protocol
utiliZed. Examples of suitable formats and processes are
described beloW.
[0030] A portable electronic device and a vehicle can be
implemented as separate computing devices that communi
cate via one or more interfaces to support interoperation. FIG.
2 is a simpli?ed block diagram of a system 200 including a
portable electronic device 202 and a vehicle 204 according to
an embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment,
portable electronic device 202 (e.g., implementing portable
electronic device 102 of FIG. 1) can provide computing,
communication, media playback, and/or other capabilities.
Mar. 20, 2014
transducers con?gured to produce sound in response to an
electrical audio signal. For example, the speaker can be a
full-range driver, a subWoofer, a Woofer, a mid-range driver, a
tWeeter, a coaxial driver, and/or the like. In embodiments of
the present invention, the speaker can receive audio output
generated by processor 220, and present the audio output to a
user.
[0035]
Processor 220 can include, for example, one or more
integrated circuits such as single-core or multi-core micro
processors and/or microcontrollers executing program code
to perform various functions and operations associated With
portable electronic device 202. In operation, processor 220
can control the operation of portable electronic device 202. In
various embodiments, processor 220 can execute a variety of
programs in response to program code and can maintain
multiple concurrently executing programs or processes. At
any given time, some or all of the program code to be executed
can be resident in processor 220 and/or in storage media such
as storage device 222.
Portable electronic device 202 can include a processor 220, a
[0036]
storage device, 222, a user interface 224, a netWork interface
226, and a vehicle interface 228. Portable electronic device
provide various functionality for portable electronic device
202 can also include other components (not explicitly shoWn)
such as a battery, poWer controllers, and other components
operable to provide various enhanced capabilities.
[0031] Storage device 222 can be implemented using disk,
?ash memory, or any other non-transitory storage medium, or
Through suitable programming, processor 220 can
202. For example, in some embodiments, processor 220 can
receive a message from vehicle interface 228, the message
containing a unique vehicle identi?er. Processor 220 can
identify content based at least in part on the unique vehicle
identi?er, and present the content to a user via user interface
224. Processor 220 can also be con?gured to receive user
a combination of media, and can include volatile and/ or non
input (e.g., audio input, touch input, and/or the like) from user
volatile media. In some embodiments, storage device 222 can
store data objects such as audio ?les, video ?les, image or
artwork ?les, information about a user’s contacts (names,
interface 224, and can be con?gured to determine a geo
addresses, phone numbers, etc.), information about a user’s
scheduled appointments and events, notes, and/or other types
of information. Storage device 222 can also store data objects
such as speci?cations for vehicle 204 as described herein. In
graphic location of portable electronic device 202. As such,
process 220 can be con?gured to identify content based on the
unique vehicle identi?er and any suitable combination of
audio input, touch input, geographic location, etc. Processor
220 may also be con?gured to generate output (e.g., audio
output, visual output, and/or the like) based on the identi?ed
some embodiments, storage device 222 can also store one or
content, and to transmit the output to user interface 224 for
more application programs to be executed by processor 220
presentment to a user. Processor 220 can also execute other
(e.g., video game programs, personal information manage
ment programs, media playback programs, etc.).
programs to control other functions of portable electronic
[0032]
stored in storage device 222.
[0037] NetWork interface 226 can provide voice and/or data
User interface 224 can include input devices such as
a touch pad, touch screen, scroll Wheel, click Wheel, dial,
device 202, including application programs that may be
button, sWitch, keypad, microphone, and/or the like, as Well
communication capability for portable electronic device 202.
as output devices such as a display screen, indicator lights,
In some embodiments, netWork interface 226 can include
speakers, headphone jacks, or the like, together With support
ing electronics (e.g., digital-to-analog or analog-to-digital
Wireless voice and/ or data netWorks (e. g., using cellular tele
converters, signal processor, and/ or the like). A user can oper
ate input devices of user interface 224 to invoke the function
ality of portable electronic device 202 and can vieW and/or
hear output from portable electronic device 202 via output
devices
[0033]
include
electric
of user interface 224.
In some embodiments, user interface 224 can
a microphone including one or more acoustic-to
transducers or sensors con?gured to convert sounds
into an electrical signal. For example, the microphone can be
a condenser microphone, an electret condenser microphone, a
dynamic microphone, a ribbon microphone, a carbon micro
phone, a pieZoelectric microphone, a ?ber optic microphone,
a laser microphone, a liquid microphone, a MEMS micro
phone, and/or the like. In embodiments of the present inven
tion, the microphone can receive audio (e.g., voice) input
radio frequency (RF) transceiver components for accessing
phone technology, advanced data netWork technology such as
3G, EDGE or 4G, WiFi (IEEE 802.11 family standards), or
other mobile communication technologies (or any combina
tion thereof), components for short-range Wireless netWork
ing (e.g., using Bluetooth standards), GPS receiver compo
nents, and/or other components. In embodiments of the
present invention, portable electronic device 202 can utiliZe
netWork interface 226 to identify and retrieve content stored
external to portable electronic device 202 (e. g., from external
data source 110 of FIG. 1). In some embodiments, netWork
interface 226 can provide Wired netWork connectivity (e.g.,
Ethernet) in addition to or instead of a Wireless interface.
NetWork interface 226 can be implemented using a combina
tion of hardWare (e.g., driver circuits, antennas, modulators/
demodulators, encoders/decoders, and other analog and/or
from a user and transmit the voice input to processor 220 in
the form of an electrical signal.
digital signal processing circuits) and softWare components.
[0034] In some embodiments, user interface 224 can
include a speaker including one or more electroacoustic
device 202 to communicate With vehicle 204. In some
embodiments, vehicle interface 228 can include a connector
[0038]
Vehicle interface 228 can alloW portable electronic
US 2014/0077972 A1
such as those used in various iPod®, iPhone®, and iPad®
products, as Well as the supporting circuitry. The connector
can provide connections for poWer and ground as Well as for
one or more data communication interfaces such as Universal
Serial Bus (USB), FireWire (IEEE 1394 standard), and/or
universal asynchronous receiver/transmitter (UART). The
connector can provide dedicated poWer and ground contacts,
as Well as some number (e.g., four) of programmable digital
Mar. 20, 2014
frequency (RF) transceiver components for Wirelessly
exchanging messages With portable electronic device 202 via
a data netWork (e.g., using cellular telephone technology,
advanced data netWork technology such as 3G, EDGE or 4G,
WiFi (IEEE 802.11 family standards), or other mobile com
munication technologies (or any combination thereof), com
ponents for short-range Wireless netWorking (e.g., using
data contacts that can be used to implement different com
Bluetooth standards), GPS receiver components, and/or other
components. In embodiments of the present invention, com
munication technologies in parallel. For example, tWo pins
munication module 232 can facilitate Wired communication
can be assigned as USB data pins (D+ and D—) and tWo other
pins can be assigned as serial transmit/receive pins (e.g.,
implementing a UART interface). The assignment of pins to
With portable electronic device 202. Communication module
232 can be implemented using a combination of hardWare
particular communication technologies can be negotiated
While the connection is being established. In embodiments of
the present invention, the connector can also provide connec
tions for audio and/ or video signals, Which may be transmit
ted to or from portable electronic device 202 in analog and/or
digital formats. Thus, vehicle interface 228 can support mul
tiple communication channels, and a given vehicle can use
any or all of these channels. In some embodiments of the
present invention, vehicle interface 228 can support Wireless
communication (e. g., via WiFi, Bluetooth, or other Wireless
protocols) With vehicle 204 in addition to or instead of Wired
communication channels.
[0039] In some embodiments, portable electronic device
202 can include location determining circuitry (not explicitly
shoWn) such as any suitable hardWare and/or softWare for
determining a geographic location of portable electronic
device 202. It Will be appreciated that portable electronic
device 202 can determine a geographic location by any suit
able technique, such as by utiliZing a Global Positioning
System (GPS), cellular toWer triangulation data, cellular
toWer signal strength data, Wireless access point data, an
Internet Protocol (IP) address, and/or the like.
[0040]
Portable electronic device 202 can also include
voice recognition circuitry (not explicitly shoWn) such as any
suitable hardWare and/or softWare for facilitating a voice
recognition mode of portable electronic device 202. A voice
recognition mode can include any operational mode of por
table electronic device 202 Wherein audio input (e. g., a Word,
phrase, or sound spoken by a user), as distinguished from
touch input, canbe used to provide a user access to the various
services, applications, stored data, and/or functionalities of
portable electronic device 202.
[0041] Vehicle 204 (e.g., implementing vehicle 104 ofFIG.
1) can include controller 230, communication module 232,
and vehicle-speci?c hardWare 234.
[0042] Controller 230 can include, for example, one or
more integrated circuits such as single-core or multi-core
microprocessors and/or microcontrollers executing program
code to perform various functions associated With vehicle
204. For example, controller 230 can transmit a message to
portable electronic device 202, the message containing a
unique vehicle identi?er. Where vehicle 204 incorporates a
user-operable control, controller 230 can interpret user opera
tion of the control and responsively invoke functionality of
vehicle 204. In some instances, the invoked functionality can
include sending message to and/or receiving message from
portable electronic device 202.
[0043]
Communication module 232 can facilitate the com
munication betWeen controller 230 of vehicle 204 and pro
cessor 220 of portable electronic device 202. In some
embodiments, communication module 232 can include radio
(e.g., driver circuits, antennas, modulators/demodulators,
encoders/decoders, and other analog and/or digital signal
processing circuits) and softWare components.
[0044] Vehicle-speci?c hardWare 234 can include any other
components that may be present in vehicle 204 to enable its
functionality. For example, in embodiments of the present
invention, vehicle-speci?c hardWare 234 can include one or
more storage devices using ?xed or removable storage media,
a GPS receiver, a poWer supply and/or poWer management
circuitry, environmental sensors (e.g., temperature sensor,
pressure sensor, accelerometer, chemical sensor, etc.), and/or
the like. It is to be understood that any type of vehicle func
tionality can be supported by providing appropriate vehicle
speci?c hardWare 234.
[0045] Device interface 236 can cooperate With communi
cation module 232 to alloW vehicle 204 to communicate With
portable electronic device 202. In embodiments of the present
invention, device interface 236 can include a connector that
mates directly With a connector included in portable elec
tronic device 202, such as those used in various iPod®,
iPhone®, and iPad® products. Such a connector can be used
to supply poWer to portable electronic device 202 and/or
receive poWer from portable electronic device 202, to send
and/or receive audio and/or video signals in analog and/or
digital formats, and to communicate information using one or
more data communication interfaces such as USB, UART,
and/or FireWire. Other connectors may also be used; for
example, device interface 236 can incorporate a standard
USB connector and can connect to vehicle interface 228 of
portable electronic device 202 via an adapter cable. In other
embodiments of the present invention, device interface 236
can support Wireless communication (e.g., WiFi, Bluetooth,
or other Wireless protocols) in addition to or instead of Wired
communication channels.
[0046]
It Will be appreciated that the system con?gurations
and components described herein are illustrative and that
variations and modi?cations are possible. Portable electronic
device 202 and/or vehicle 204 may have other capabilities not
speci?cally described herein.
[0047] Connectors at the respective interfaces 228, 236 of
portable electronic device 202 and vehicle 204 can be
complementary or not as desired. Where tWo connectors are
not complementary, an adapter (not shoWn) can be provided
to connect the tWo devices. While connectors may be
described herein as having pins, a term generally associated
With conventional electronic devices having Wires to connect
components, it is to be understood that other signal paths
(e.g., optical signaling) can be substituted. Further, in some
embodiments, some or all of the connections can be Wireless,
and connectors can be omitted Where Wireless interfaces are
provided.
US 2014/0077972 A1
[0048]
Further, While portable electronic device 202 and
vehicle 204 are described herein With reference to particular
blocks, it is to be understood that these blocks are de?ned for
convenience of description and are not intended to imply a
Mar. 20, 2014
device that use the accessory protocol can be required to
support at least the general message set. This message set can
include messages enabling portable electronic device 202 and
vehicle 204 to identify and authenticate themselves to each
particular physical arrangement of component parts. Further,
other and to provide information about their respective capa
the blocks need not correspond to physically distinct compo
nents. Blocks can be con?gured to perform various opera
tions, e.g., by programming a processor or providing appro
priate control circuitry, and various blocks might or might not
be recon?gurable depending on hoW the initial con?guration
is obtained. Embodiments of the present invention can be
realiZed in a variety of apparatus including electronic devices
bilities, including Which (if any) of the messages in the
optional set each supports. For example, the general message
implemented using any combination of circuitry and soft
Ware.
[0049] Vehicle interface 228 of portable electronic device
202 and device interface 236 of vehicle 204 alloW portable
electronic device 202 to be connected With vehicle 204 and
subsequently disconnected from vehicle 204. As used herein,
portable electronic device 202 and vehicle 204 are “con
nected” Whenever a communication channel is established
set can include a message vehicle 204 can send to portable
electronic device 202 to list every message in the optional set
that vehicle 204 is capable of sending and every message in
the optional set that vehicle 204 is capable of receiving and
acting on. The general message set can also include authen
tication messages that portable electronic device 202 can use
to verify the purported identity and capabilities of vehicle 204
(or vice versa), and vehicle 204 (or portable electronic device
202) may be blocked from invoking certain (or all) of the
optional messages if the authentication is unsuccessful.
[0054] The optional message set can include messages
related to various functionalities that might or might not be
supported in a given accessory. For example, the optional
betWeen their respective interfaces and “disconnected” When
message set can include simple remote messages that alloW
the channel is terminated. Such connection can be achieved
vehicle 204 to identify a function of portable electronic
via direct physical connection (e. g., With mating connectors),
In some embodiments, portable electronic device
device 202 to be invoked, remote user interface messages that
can be used to obtain information related to replicating all or
part of a user interface of portable electronic device 202 on
vehicle 204 (thereby supporting a more advanced remote
control), messages that alloW a user to control a radio tuner in
202 and vehicle 204 can communicate While connected by
vehicle 204 by operating portable electronic device 202 and/
indirect physical connection (e.g., via a cable), and/or Wire
less connection (e.g., via Bluetooth or other suitable Wireless
protocol).
[0050]
exchanging messages and data according to an “accessory
protocol.” The messages and data can be communicated, for
example, using any Wired or Wireless transport medium pro
vided by the relevant interfaces.
[0051] The accessory protocol can de?ne a “universe” of
messages that can be exchanged betWeen portable electronic
device 202 and any accessories connected thereto, such as
or to control a radio tuner in portable electronic device 202 by
operating vehicle 204, messages that facilitate the transfer of
data objects betWeen portable electronic device 202 and
vehicle 204 (e.g., the transfer of a unique vehicle identi?er
from vehicle 204 to portable electronic device 202), and so
on. Any combination of optional messages can be de?ned in
an accessory protocol, and there is no requirement that a given
accessory or portable electronic device support all (or even
vehicle 204. The message format can include, e.g., a start bit
or bit sequence to indicate that What folloWs is a message
any) of the optional messages.
code, folloWed by an actual message code that can be inter
preted and acted on by the recipient. At least some of the
[0055] FIG. 3 is a How diagram ofa process 300 usable by
a portable electronic device (e.g., portable electronic device
message codes may have one or more associated parameters
102 of FIG. 1 or portable electronic device 202 of FIG. 2) to
identify content based on a unique vehicle identi?er accord
ing to an embodiment of the present invention.
de?ned by the protocol, and a message can include values for
any such parameters in addition to the message code. In some
instances, the protocol can further specify a behavior for a
recipient in the event that a particular parameter associated
With a message code is not received or in the event that an
unexpected parameter is received With a message code. The
number of parameters can be different for different messages,
and in some instances, a parameter may have variable length.
In some embodiments, the message codes canbe de?ned such
that a given message code is valid in only one direction. Other
message structures can also be used.
[0052]
The accessory protocol can also de?ne a format for
[0056] At block 302, the portable electronic device can
establish communication With the vehicle. For example, the
portable electronic device can detect a connection to the
vehicle based on a voltage detected at the connector. The
vehicle can also request a connection via a Wireless protocol
(e.g., Bluetooth, WiFi, and/or the like), and the portable elec
tronic device can respond to establish a connection usable to
exchange messages.
[0057] Upon detecting a connection, the portable electronic
device can communicate With the vehicle to perform a num
the exchange of messages. For instance, the accessory proto
ber of authentication steps by exchanging messages (e. g.,
col may specify that a message is sent using one or more
utiliZing vehicle interface 228 and device interface 236 of
packets, each of Which has a header and a payload. The header
FIG. 2). For example, the vehicle can transmit one or more
provides basic information (e.g., a start indicator, length of
the packet, packet sequence number, identi?er of a session
With Which the packet is associated, and/or other informa
tion), While the payload provides all or part of the message
messages to the portable electronic device to identify and
authenticate the vehicle, and/ or the portable electronic device
data. The packet can also include error-detection or error
correction codes as knoWn in the art.
exchanged at block 302 can also relate to the respective capa
bilities of the vehicle and the portable electronic device. For
example, the portable electronic device can transmit a mes
[0053] In some embodiments, the messages can be logi
cally grouped into a “general” message set and an “optional”
message set. Every accessory and every portable electronic
can transmit one or more messages to the vehicle to identify
and authenticate the portable electronic device. Messages
sage to the vehicle indicating that the portable electronic
device is con?gured to accept and act on a received message
US 2014/0077972 A1
containing a unique vehicle identi?er. Similarly, the vehicle
Mar. 20, 2014
such as an audio/video interface, a global positioning system,
can transmit a message to the portable electronic device indi
seat adjustments, mirror adjustments, climate control, and/or
cating that the vehicle is con?gured to generate and transmit
a message containing the unique vehicle identi?er. Commu
nication betWeen the portable electronic device and the
vehicle can be established upon completion of the exchange
of messages relating to the capabilities and authentication. In
some embodiments of the present invention, the portable
the like.
[0062] In some embodiments of the present invention, upon
presenting the identi?ed content to the user, the portable
electronic device can be con?gured to receive user input
relating to the identi?ed content. For example, the portable
electronic device can receive audio input from the user (e. g.,
electronic device can provide a user With a noti?cation that
at a microphone), the audio input requesting additional infor
communication With the vehicle is established by, for
example, providing audio output at a speaker and/or visual
mation relating to the identi?ed content such as further
output on a display screen of the portable electronic device.
[0058] At block 304, after communicationbetWeen the por
table electronic device and the vehicle is established, the
portable electronic device can transmit a message to the
vehicle, the message containing a request for a unique vehicle
identi?er. At block 306, the vehicle can generate and transmit
a message to the portable electronic device, the message
containing the requested unique vehicle identi?er. For
example, the message transmitted by the vehicle can contain
a VIN for the vehicle, or one or more hash values correspond
details, additional speci?cations, and/ or other information. In
some embodiments, the portable electronic device can
include a display screen that includes a touch interface. For
example, the portable electronic device can provide the user
With one or more user-selectable controls (e.g., a graphical
menu, drop-doWn, etc.) on the display screen, and in response
to receiving touch input from the user, the portable electronic
device can identify, retrieve, and present additional informa
tion relating to the identi?ed content at the display screen as
visual output and/or at a speaker as audio output.
[0063] FIG. 4 is a How diagram ofa process 400 usable by
a portable electronic device (e.g., portable electronic device
ing to the VIN.
102 of FIG. 1 or portable electronic device 202 of FIG. 2) to
[0059] Once the unique vehicle identi?er is received, at
block 308, the portable electronic device can identify and
identify content based on a unique vehicle identi?er and user
retrieve content based at least in part on the unique vehicle
identi?er. In some embodiments, the portable electronic
device can use the unique vehicle identi?er to identify and
retrieve content stored in a memory (e.g., storage device 222
of FIG. 2) of the portable electronic device. For example, the
input according to an embodiment of the present invention.
[0064] At block 402, the portable electronic device can
establish communication With the vehicle. For example, the
portable electronic device can detect a connection to the
vehicle based on a voltage detected at the connector. The
vehicle can also request a connection via a Wireless protocol
memory can store various speci?cations (e.g., a user manual,
(e.g., Bluetooth, WiFi, and/or the like), and the portable elec
year, make, model, color, etc.) for the vehicle as previously
tronic device can respond to establish a connection usable to
doWnloaded by the user from an Internet Website associated
With the vehicle’s manufacturer and/or from any other suit
exchange messages.
[0065] Upon detecting a connection, the portable electronic
able external data source. In some embodiments of the
device can communicate With the vehicle to perform a num
present invention, upon establishing communication With the
ber of authentication steps by exchanging messages (e. g.,
vehicle, the portable electronic device can determine if such
content has been doWnloaded and stored in the memory. If it
is determined that the content is not present in the memory,
the portable electronic device can prompt the user to perform
utiliZing vehicle interface 228 and device interface 236 of
the doWnload. The stored content can be linked to the unique
vehicle identi?er, and in some embodiments of the invention,
the portable electronic device can store speci?cations for a
plurality of the user’ s vehicles, each linked to the appropriate
can transmit one or more messages to the vehicle to identify
unique vehicle identi?er.
FIG. 2). For example, the vehicle can transmit one or more
messages to the portable electronic device to identify and
authenticate the vehicle, and/ or the portable electronic device
and authenticate the portable electronic device. Messages
exchanged at block 402 can also relate to the respective capa
bilities of the vehicle and the portable electronic device. For
example, the portable electronic device can transmit a mes
sage to the vehicle indicating that the portable electronic
[0060] In some embodiments of the present invention, at
block 308, the portable electronic device can identify and
device is con?gured to accept and act on a received message
retrieve the content from an external data source (e.g., exter
can transmit a message to the portable electronic device indi
nal data source 110 of FIG. 1). For example, in lieu of or in
addition to storing the content in a memory, the portable
containing a unique vehicle identi?er. Similarly, the vehicle
At block 310, the portable electronic device can
cating that the vehicle is con?gured to generate and transmit
a message containing the unique vehicle identi?er. Commu
nication betWeen the portable electronic device and the
vehicle can be established upon completion of the exchange
of messages relating to the capabilities and authentication. In
some embodiments of the present invention, the portable
present the identi?ed content to the user via a user interface.
electronic device can provide a user With a noti?cation that
For example, the portable electronic device can generate
visual output based on the identi?ed content, and present the
communication With the vehicle is established by, for
example, providing audio output at a speaker and/or visual
visual output to the user via a display screen of the portable
electronic device. In some embodiments, the visual output
can include an image of the vehicle, a video of the vehicle,
output on a display screen of the portable electronic device.
electronic device can retrieve the content from an external
database associated With the vehicle manufacturer (e.g., a
Website) or any other suitable external data source.
[0061]
[0066] At block 404, after communicationbetWeen the por
table electronic device and the vehicle is established, the
descriptions of various speci?cations for the vehicle, and
portable electronic device can transmit a message to the
other vehicle-speci?c content. The visual output may also
include operating instructions for various vehicle features
vehicle, the message containing a request for a unique vehicle
identi?er. At block 406, the vehicle can generate and transmit
US 2014/0077972 A1
a message to the portable electronic device, the message
containing the requested unique vehicle identi?er. For
example, the message can contain a VIN for the vehicle, or
Mar. 20, 2014
electronic device can identify the recommended fuel type for
the vehicle. At block 412, the recommended fuel type can be
presented to the user via the user interface (e.g., as audio
one or more has values corresponding to the VIN.
[0067] At block 408, user input can be received at a user
output at a speaker and/or as visual output on a display screen
interface of the portable electronic device. For example, in an
[0072] Depending on the nature of the request included in
the received user input, at block 412, the portable electronic
device can identify and present content including any suitable
embodiment of the invention, the user interface can include
an audio interface including a microphone, and the user can
of the portable electronic device).
provide input in the form of audio (e.g., spoken) input. In
speci?cation for the vehicle as described herein, such as a
some embodiments, the user interface can include a touch
required oil type, replacement part identi?ers, instructions for
interface (e.g., a touch screen and/ or control buttons), and the
user can provide input to the portable electronic device in the
replacing a part, information regarding the location and func
tionality of the vehicle’s user controls, and/or other speci?
form of touch input.
[0068] Once the unique vehicle identi?er and the user input
cations.
[0073] In some embodiments of the present invention, the
portable electronic device can be further con?gured to deter
mine a geographic location of the device, and content can be
are received, at block 410, the portable electronic device can
identify content based in part on the unique vehicle identi?er
and in part on the received user input. In some embodiments,
the portable electronic device can use the unique vehicle
identi?er and/or the received user input to identify and
retrieve content stored in a memory (e.g., storage device 222
of FIG. 2) of the portable electronic device. For example, the
memory can store various speci?cations (e.g., replacement
part identi?ers, a user manual, year, make, model, color, etc.)
for the vehicle as previously doWnloaded by the user from an
Internet Website associated With the vehicle’s manufacturer
and/ or from any other suitable external data source. In some
identi?ed based in part upon the geographic location.
[0074]
FIG. 5 is a How diagram of a process usable by a
portable electronic device (e. g., portable electronic device
102 of FIG. 1 or portable electronic device 202 of FIG. 2) to
identify content based on a unique vehicle identi?er, user
input, and a geographic location of the device according to an
embodiment of the present invention
[0075] At block 502, the portable electronic device can
establish communication With the vehicle. For example, the
embodiments of the present invention, upon establishing
communication With the vehicle, the portable electronic
portable electronic device can detect a connection to the
vehicle based on a voltage detected at the connector. The
vehicle may also request a connection via a Wireless protocol
device can determine if such content has been doWnloaded
and stored in the memory. If it is determined that the content
tronic device can respond to establish a connection usable to
is not present in the memory, the portable electronic device
can prompt the user to perform the doWnload. The stored
content can be linked to the unique vehicle identi?er, and in
embodiments of the invention, the portable electronic device
can store speci?cations for a plurality of the user’s vehicles,
each linked to the appropriate unique vehicle identi?er.
[0069] In some embodiments of the present invention, at
block 410, the portable electronic device can identify and
retrieve the content from an external data source (e.g., exter
nal data source 110 of FIG. 1). For example, in lieu of or in
addition to storing the content in a memory, the portable
electronic device can retrieve the content from an external
database associated With the vehicle manufacture (e.g., a
Website) or any other suitable external data source.
[0070] At block 412, the portable electronic device can
(e.g., Bluetooth, WiFi, and/or the like), and the portable elec
exchange messages.
[0076] Upon detecting a connection, the portable electronic
device can communicate With the vehicle to perform a num
ber of authentication steps by exchanging messages (e. g.,
utiliZing vehicle interface 228 and device interface 236 of
FIG. 2). For example, the vehicle can transmit one or more
messages to the portable electronic device to identify and
authenticate the vehicle, and/ or the portable electronic device
can transmit one or more messages to the vehicle to identify
and authenticate the portable electronic device. Messages
exchanged at block 502 can also relate to the respective capa
bilities of the vehicle and the portable electronic device. For
example, the portable electronic device can transmit a mes
sage to the vehicle indicating that the portable electronic
device is con?gured to accept and act on a received message
present the identi?ed content to the user via the user interface.
containing a unique vehicle identi?er. Similarly, the vehicle
For example, the portable electronic device can present visual
can transmit a message to the portable electronic device indi
output to the user via a display screen of the portable elec
cating that the vehicle is con?gured to generate and transmit
a message containing the unique vehicle identi?er. Commu
nication betWeen the portable electronic device and the
vehicle can be established upon completion of the exchange
of messages relating to the capabilities and authentication. In
tronic device. As another example, the audio interface of the
portable electronic device can include a speaker con?gured to
present audio output to the user. As such, the portable elec
tronic device can generate visual output and/or audio output
based on the identi?ed content, and can present the output to
some embodiments, the portable electronic device can pro
the user via the user interface.
vide a user With a noti?cation that communication With the
[0071] To illustrate process 400, after receiving the unique
vehicle identi?er from the vehicle, at block 408, the portable
vehicle is established by, for example, providing audio output
electronic device can receive user input (e.g., audio and/or
portable electronic device.
touch input) involving a request for the recommended fuel
type for the vehicle. At block 410, the portable electronic
[0077] At block 504, after communicationbetWeen the por
table electronic device and the vehicle is established, the
at a speaker and/or visual output on a display screen of the
device can use the unique vehicle identi?er to retrieve one or
portable electronic device can transmit a message to the
more speci?cations (e.g., a digital version of the vehicle’s
externally and accessible via a data netWork, for example.
vehicle, the message containing a request for a unique vehicle
identi?er. At block 506, the vehicle can generate and transmit
a message to the portable electronic device, the message
Once the one or more speci?cations are retrieved, the portable
containing the requested unique vehicle identi?er. For
user manual) stored in a memory of the device and/ or stored
US 2014/0077972 A1
example, the message can contain a VIN for the vehicle, or
one or more has values corresponding to the VIN.
[0078] At block 508, user input can be received at a user
interface of the portable electronic device. For example, in an
Mar. 20, 2014
for sale. Upon receiving con?rmation from the user in the
form of audio and/or touch input, the portable electronic
device can identify and retrieve the requested merchant loca
tion. In some embodiments, the portable electronic device can
embodiment, the user interface can include an audio interface
automatically search for nearby merchants (i.e. Without
including a microphone, and the user can provide input to the
prompting the user). The portable electronic device can locate
portable electronic device in the form of audio input (e.g.,
nearby merchants offering the replacement part for sale using
any suitable technique. For example, the geographic location
spoken Words or phrases). In some embodiments, the user
interface can include a touch interface (e.g., a touch screen
and/ or control buttons), and the user can provide input to the
portable electronic device in the form of touch input.
[0079] A geographic location of the portable electronic
of the device and the replacement part identi?er can be uti
liZed as keyWords in an Internet search (or other external
database search) to locate the nearby merchants. In some
embodiments, the portable electronic device can locate
device can also be determined. For example, at block 510, the
portable electronic device can utiliZe a GPS, cellular toWer
nearby merchants offering the replacement part for sale by
triangulation data, cellular toWer signal strength data, Wire
replacement part identi?ers stored in the memory of the por
table electronic device.
less access point data, an Internet Protocol (IP) address, and/
or any suitable technique for determining a geographic loca
tion of the portable electronic device.
[0080] Once the unique vehicle identi?er and the user input
are received, and the geographic location of the device is
determined, at block 512, the portable electronic device can
identify content based in part on the unique vehicle identi?er,
accessing a register of merchants, merchant locations, and
[0083]
At block 514, the portable electronic device can
present the identi?ed content to the user via the user interface.
For example, the portable electronic device can present visual
output to the user via a display screen of the portable elec
in part on the received user input, and in part on the deter
mined geographic location. In some embodiments, the por
tronic device. As another example, the audio interface of the
portable electronic device can include a speaker con?gured to
present audio output to the user. As such, the portable elec
tronic device can generate visual output and/or audio output
table electronic device can use the unique vehicle identi?er
and/ or the received user input to identify and retrieve content
based on the identi?ed content, and can present the output to
the user via the user interface. Referring back to the above
stored in a memory (e. g., storage device 222 of FIG. 2) of the
portable electronic device. For example, the memory can
illustration, once the replacement part identi?er and the loca
tion of the merchant offering the replacement part for sale
have been identi?ed, the user can be provided With the iden
ti?ed content visually and/or audibly. For example, the por
store various speci?cations (e. g., replacement part identi?ers,
a user manual, year, make, model, color, etc.) for the vehicle
as previously doWnloaded by the user from an Internet Web
site associated With the vehicle’s manufacturer and/or from
any other suitable external data source. In some embodiments
of the present invention, upon establishing communication
With the vehicle, the portable electronic device can determine
if such content has been doWnloaded and stored in the
memory. If it is determined that the content is not present in
the memory, the portable electronic device can prompt the
table electronic device can present the user With visual output
on a display screen and/ or audio output at a speaker indicating
the replacement part identi?er and the location of the mer
chant. In some embodiments of the present invention, the
portable electronic device can provide the user With driving
directions to the merchant by, for example, displaying a map
on the display screen and/or by providing real-time driving
directions as audio output at the speaker.
user to perform the doWnload. The stored content can be
linked to the unique vehicle identi?er, and in embodiments of
the invention, the portable electronic device can store speci
?cations for a plurality of the user’s vehicles, each linked to
[0084] While the invention has been described With respect
to speci?c embodiments, one skilled in the art Will recogniZe
the appropriate unique vehicle identi?er.
that numerous modi?cations are possible and that features
described With speci?c reference to one embodiment can be
[0081] In some embodiments of the present invention, at
block 512, the portable electronic device can identify and
applied to other embodiments. For example, any combination
of a unique vehicle identi?er, user input, and geographic
retrieve the content from an external data source (e.g., exter
nal data source 110 of FIG. 1). For example, in lieu of or in
addition to storing the content in a memory, the portable
location can be utiliZed in various embodiments of the inven
tion to identify content for presentment to a user. Moreover,
such data can be received and processed in any suitable order.
electronic device can retrieve the content from an external
[0085]
database associated With the vehicle manufacture (e.g., a
Website) or any other suitable external data source.
device can include a voice recognition mode (e.g., an “Intel
[0082]
Further, at block 512, the portable electronic device
can use the geographic location of the device to identify and
retrieve content related to the location of the device. As an
illustration, the user input can include a request for a replace
In some embodiments, the portable electronic
ligent Automated Assistant”). Such a voice recognition mode
can include any operational mode of the portable electronic
device Wherein audio input (e.g., a Word, phrase, or sound
provide by a user), as distinguished from touch input (e.g.,
touch screen, button input, etc.), can be used to access various
ment part identi?er. At block 512, the portable electronic
services, applications, and/or functionalities of the portable
device can use the unique vehicle identi?er to retrieve the
electronic device can prompt or “ask” the user via audio
electronic device. For example, When a voice recognition
mode is activated, the portable electronic device can process
audio input received from the user at a microphone, generate
audio and/or visual output based on the received audio input,
and present the output to the user at a speaker and/or display
screen of the portable electronic device. The voice recogni
and/or visual output Whether the user desires to knoW the
tion mode can be utiliZed in lieu of or in addition to the
location of a nearby merchant offering the replacement part
processing of touch input received from the user.
replacement part identi?er stored in the memory (e.g., as a
digital version of the vehicles user manual) and/or stored
externally and accessible via a data netWork, for example.
Once the replacement part identi?er is retrieved, the portable
US 2014/0077972 A1
Mar. 20, 2014
[0086] In some embodiments, upon transmitting the unique
vehicle identi?er to the portable electronic device, the vehicle
[0090] Embodiments of the present invention can be real
iZed using any combination of dedicated components and/or
can transmit messages containing further information. For
example, messages can inform the portable electronic device
of issues With the vehicle that may require user action (e.g.,
that the fuel is loW, that the vehicle is due for a service or oil
change, that the brake pads are Worn, that the tire pressure is
programmable processors and/or other programmable
devices. The various processes described herein canbe imple
mented on the same processor or different processors in any
combination. Where components are described as being con
loW, and the like). Upon receipt of such a message, the por
?gured to perform certain operations, such con?guration can
be accomplished, e.g., by designing electronic circuits to
table electronic device can inform the user of the issue audi
perform the operation, by programming programmable elec
bly and/or visually, and can identify the appropriate replace
tronic circuits (such as microprocessors) to perform the
operation, or any combination thereof. Further, While the
ment part identi?er, a merchant offering the replacement part
for sale, a nearby gas station, a nearby mechanic, and/ or other
content to the user. Periodic messages can also be transmitted
embodiments described above may make reference to spe
ci?c hardWare and softWare components, those skilled in the
art Will appreciate that different combinations of hardWare
and/or softWare components may also be used and that par
by the vehicle to the portable electronic device, the messages
containing information about the vehicle’ s fuel consumption,
driving distance, and/or the like. As such, portable electronic
ticular operations described as being implemented in hard
device can visually and/or audibly present the user With infor
Ware might also be implemented in softWare or vice versa.
mation regarding miles per gallon and other driving statistics.
[0087]
In some embodiments, the portable electronic
device can run an application that may be provided, for
example, by a vehicle manufacturer or a third party. The
application may generate the message requesting the unique
vehicle identi?er from the vehicle. The application may also
identify and retrieve the content based upon the unique
vehicle identi?er, and present the content to the user via a user
interface of the portable electronic device. In some embodi
[0091]
Computer programs incorporating various features
of the present invention may be encoded and stored on various
computer readable storage media; suitable media include
magnetic disk or tape, optical storage media such as compact
disk (CD) or DVD (digital versatile disk), ?ash memory, and
other non-transitory media. (It is understood that “storage” of
data is distinct from propagation of data using transitory
media such as carrier Waves.) Computer readable media
encoded With the program code may be packaged With a
compatible electronic device, or the program code may be
ments, the application may determine from messages
received from the vehicle Whether there are issues that require
user action (as described above), and may inform the user of
provided separately from electronic devices (e.g., via Internet
the issues audibly and/or visually. The application may also
keep track of When previous services Were performed, and
[0092] Thus, although the invention has been described
With respect to speci?c embodiments, it Will be appreciated
doWnload or as a separately packaged computer-readable
storage medium).
timely inform the user When the vehicle is due for a service.
that the invention is intended to cover all modi?cations and
[0088] In some embodiments, the portable electronic
device can utiliZe the unique vehicle identi?er to identify and
retrieve recall information for the vehicle. For example, the
equivalents Within the scope of the folloWing claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A portable electronic device comprising:
portable electronic device can periodically access an external
a user interface;
database associated With the vehicle manufacturer (e.g., a
a vehicle interface con?gured to exchange messages With a
Website) or any other suitable external data source to deter
mine Whether a recall has been issued for the vehicle. The
a processor coupled to the user interface and the vehicle
portable electronic device may further determine Whether the
recall is an urgent safety recall requiring immediate repair, or
Whether the recall need not be addressed immediately. Upon
retrieval of such recall information, the portable electronic
device can present the information to the user visually and/or
audibly.
[0089]
vehicle; and
interface, the processor con?gured to:
receive a message from the vehicle interface, the mes
sage containing a unique vehicle identi?er;
identify content based at least in part on the unique
vehicle identi?er; and
present the content to a user via the user interface.
In some embodiments, the portable electronic
device can be con?gured to generate and transmit messages to
the vehicle, the messages causing the vehicle to change its
2. The portable electronic device of claim 1, Wherein the
content includes a speci?cation for the vehicle.
3. The portable electronic device of claim 2, Wherein the
operation. For example, if a vehicle is stolen after a connec
speci?cation includes one or more of: a fuel type for the
tion has been established With a portable electronic device,
vehicle, an oil type for the vehicle, an identi?er of a replace
ment part for the vehicle, an identi?er of a merchant offering
the replacement part for sale, a user manual for the vehicle, a
year of the vehicle, a make of the vehicle, a model of the
vehicle, a color of the vehicle, or a year of manufacture of the
vehicle.
the portable electronic device can send a message to the
vehicle in response to user input, the message causing the
engine poWer of the vehicle to be turned off. In some embodi
ments, the portable electronic device can be accessed
remotely by another electronic device (e. g, a tablet computer,
laptop computer, desktop computer, other portable electronic
device, and/ or the like). If the vehicle is stolen after a connec
4. The portable electronic device of claim 1, Wherein the
unique vehicle identi?er comprises a vehicle identi?cation
tion has been established (With the portable electronic device
number (VIN) or one or more hash values corresponding to
located inside the vehicle), the user can communicate With the
the VIN.
portable electronic device using another electronic device to
5. The portable electronic device of claim 1, Wherein the
user interface is con?gured to receive input from the user, and
Wherein the processor is further con?gured to:
receive the input from the user interface; and
cause the portable electronic device to send a message to the
vehicle, the message causing the engine poWer of the vehicle
to be turned off.
US 2014/0077972 A1
Mar. 20, 2014
identify the content based in part on the input and in part on
16. The method of claim 12 further comprising:
the unique vehicle identi?er.
6. The portable electronic device of claim 1, Wherein the
receiving, by the portable electronic device, input from the
processor is further con?gured to:
determine a geographic location of the portable electronic
identifying, by the portable electronic device, the content
device; and
identify the content based in part on the geographic loca
tion and in part on the unique vehicle identi?er.
7. The portable electronic device of claim 1, Wherein the
content identi?ed by the processor is stored in a memory of
the portable electronic device or stored external to the por
table electronic device.
8. A portable electronic device comprising:
a user interface;
a vehicle interface con?gured to exchange messages With a
vehicle; and
a processor coupled to the user interface and the vehicle
interface, the processor con?gured to:
receive a message from the vehicle interface, the mes
sage containing a unique vehicle identi?er;
receive user input from the user interface;
identify content based in part on the user input and in
part on the unique vehicle identi?er; and
present the content to the user via the user interface.
9. The portable electronic device of claim 8, Wherein the
user; and
based in part on the input and in part on the unique
vehicle identi?er.
17. The method of claim 12 further comprising:
determining, by the portable electronic device, a geo
graphic location of the portable electronic device; and
identifying, by the portable electronic device, the content
based in part on the geographic location and in part on
the unique vehicle identi?er.
18. The method of claim 12, Wherein the content identi?ed
by the portable electronic device is stored in a memory of the
portable electronic device or stored external to the portable
electronic device.
19. A method for presenting vehicle-speci?c information
to a user, the method comprising:
receiving, by a portable electronic device, a message trans
mitted from a vehicle, the message including a unique
vehicle identi?er;
receiving, at a user interface of the portable electronic
device, user input from the user;
identifying, by the portable electronic device, content
based in part on the unique vehicle identi?er and in part
on the user input; and
user interface includes an audio interface, and Wherein the
presenting, by the portable electronic device, the content to
user input includes audio input.
10. The portable electronic device of claim 8, Wherein the
20. The method of claim 19, Wherein the user interface
the user.
user interface includes a touch interface, and Wherein the user
includes a display screen, and Wherein presenting the content
input includes touch input.
to the user comprises displaying visual output to the user on
the display screen.
21. The method of claim 19, Wherein the user interface
includes a touch interface, and Wherein the user input
11. The portable electronic device of claim 8, Wherein the
user interface includes an audio interface con?gured to
present the content to the user as audio output, and Wherein
the processor is further con?gured to:
generate the audio output based on the content; and
transmit the audio output to the audio interface.
12. A method for presenting vehicle-speci?c information
to a user, the method comprising:
includes touch input.
22. The method of claim 19, Wherein the user interface
includes an audio interface, and Wherein the user input
includes audio input.
23. A computer-readable storage medium having program
code stored thereon, the program code including instructions
receiving, by a portable electronic device, a message trans
mitted from a vehicle, the message including a unique
that, When executed by a processor in a portable electronic
vehicle identi?er;
identifying, by the portable electronic device, content
device, cause the processor to execute a method comprising:
receiving a message transmitted from a vehicle, the mes
based at least in part on the unique vehicle identi?er; and
presenting, by the portable electronic device, the content to
the user.
13. The method of claim 12, Wherein the content includes
a speci?cation for the vehicle.
14. The method of claim 13, Wherein the speci?cation
includes one or more of: a fuel type for the vehicle, an oil type
for the vehicle, an identi?er of a replacement part for the
vehicle, an identi?er of a merchant offering the replacement
part for sale, a user manual for the vehicle, a year of the
vehicle, a make of the vehicle, a model of the vehicle, a color
of the vehicle, or a year of manufacture of the vehicle.
15. The method of claim 12, Wherein the unique vehicle
identi?er comprises a vehicle identi?cation number (VIN) or
one or more hash values corresponding to the VIN.
sage including a unique vehicle identi?er;
identifying content based at least in part on the unique
vehicle identi?er; and
presenting the content to a user.
24. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 23,
Wherein the content includes a speci?cation for the vehicle.
25. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 23,
Wherein the speci?cation includes one or more of: a fuel type
for the vehicle, an oil type for the vehicle, an identi?er of a
replacement part for the vehicle, an identi?er of a merchant
offering the replacement part for sale, a user manual for the
vehicle, a year of the vehicle, a make of the vehicle, a model
of the vehicle, a color of the vehicle, or a year of manufacture
of the vehicle.
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