Apple has cleared another patent allowing it to incorporate a second screen to its devices for related content. According to the recent patent granted to the tech giant, Apple can now pump ads and allow users to watch television simultaneously. Instead of the ads or associated content flashing on the primary display like the television, the technology allows users to enjoy their media content with their tablet or smartphone acting like a secondary device.
The file granted comes by US patent number 8,763,060 and filed last May 2011. Apple obtained the patent together with 51 more. According to the patent, Apple will be incorporating second-screen content through a time-offset process. The company will not use the content relayed through the media player and through the primary screen.
According to the patent, the primary media player can provide "movies, television shows, webisodes, straight to digital storage medium productions, online videos, etc." The secondary screen, on other hand, can offer "actors, audio sound tracks, images of clothing and other goods." More importantly, the patent also aims to address a consumer need dealing with: "Information about the things seen and heard in a media presentation is not always discernable from the media presentation itself as it is playing."
Apple listed an example with the screen displaying the name of the actor on the primary screen or details of the song playing including where users can buy it. The patent deals with product placement and increasing practice of companies to compensate content providers to integrate and display products on the shows. However, users have the increasing tendency to skip ads and watch straight the recorded content. Apple wants to reconcile this offering both companies and users convenience without sacrificing their needs. According to the patent:
"When product placement is done well, such placements can enhance the viewer's experience. For example, when the script calls for a character to drink a canned beverage, the character may drink a beverage from a can with a distinct, recognizable color scheme or logo."
Apple does not just want to provide mere presentation of the products or services but more information to encourage consumers make an informed decision. Similar to other patent grants, this technology can find its way to iOS devices soon or some time. Apple still has time to incorporate new features as production for its upcoming devices will start expectedly around July.