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Novel Approach to Provide Parental Control to Viewing Content

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022189D
Publication Date: 2004-Mar-01
Document File: 2 page(s) / 29K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Robert L. Hardacker: INVENTOR [+3]

Abstract

Parental control of children’s viewing habits can be extended to STB such as cable or PVR STB through Memory Stick® biometrics i.e. fingerprint access.

This text was extracted from a Microsoft Word document.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 55% of the total text.

         Sony Corporation

         Sony Electronics Inc.

         IPD Case #50R4814

Title:

Novel Approach to Provide Parental Control to Viewing Content

Abstract:

Parental control of children’s viewing habits can be extended to STB such as cable or PVR STB through Memory Stick® biometrics i.e. fingerprint access.

Inventors:

Robert L. Hardacker

Christopher Jensen Read

Robert Allan Unger

Description of the Invention:

1.      At issue is controlling the types of material your child is exposed to and when in their life that occurs. With the increasing popularity of cable or Direct TV services into the home children often have access to program material that may be inappropriate. Current Sony products employ a user interface (UI) and password to establish the parental control limits. The actual limit setting is well understood and implements a variety of industry standard rating methods employing a variety of extended data services for broadcast, cable, satellite, and DVD players. Some service providers can limit the types of material the STB can receive and decode. However, passwords have inherent weaknesses, i.e. are forgotten and/or are easily compromised. If the service provider limits total access to protect children, then it also limits the parent's choices.

2.      Biometric Memory Stick® technology extends the use of an existing/planned Memory Stick® interface on the TV or STB. A fingerprint(s) is scanned during initial setup authorizing parental control (analogous to a system manager super user rights). This individual can establish default viewing choices (no fingerprint required) and a number of tiered viewing choices associated with other fingerprints such as a teenage child versus a preadolescent child. These other users are limited to a sub-set of viewing choices as established by the parent. The subset of choices can limit which channels are viewable or potentially the rating of program material that is viewable. Each time the unit is powered on an acceptable fingerprint scan enables full or partial access, while no scan will enable a default mode.

Using a Sony Memory Stick® interface which is already planned for a variety of other uses, a fingerprint scanner is built into an interface compatible form factor. It reads the fingerprint while also determining that the fingerprint is alive, and compares the result with the stored fingerprints. The correct match enables certain pre-programmed features such as viewing preferences. The device can be removed and replaced with a standard type Memory Stick® after power-up. Powering cycling the STB causes the access to resort to default mode. The different levels of access are initiated...