December 6, 2005
From everyone's favorite Barry Fox, who trawls the world's weird and wonderful patent applications each week, here's The McDownload. [via New Scientist]
"Patents filed by Disney reveal plans to drip-feed entertainment into a portable player while the owner eats in a restaurant.
You only get the full programme by coming back to the restaurant a number of times to collect all the instalments. McDonalds could use the system instead of giving out toys with Happy Meals, suggests Disney’s patent.
Portable players and modern cellphones store entertainment files in memory cards. They often have built-in Bluetooth or WiFi, too, for wireless downloading. Big files, such as a movie, take a long time to capture, so Disney will break the file into several segments that can be downloaded separately and spliced together by the player.
When the owner buys a meal they get an electronic code that authorises a partial download. If the file is in five parts there is a strong incentive to come back for four more meals."
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