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Sonance Scores Wall Mount iPad Automation Patent

Automation Vendors looking to develop an on wall iPad docking station may have licensing problems after it was revealed that automation Company Sonance has a patent on the concept. Among the Companies who could be restricted are Crestron, Control 4, AMX and several who are currently developing iPad Automation software.

According to CE Pro Sonance whose gear is distributed in Australia by Amber Technology the Company sought the patent on October 23, 2006. It was granted on February 17, 2009.

Sonance CEO Air Supran says the company’s 2009 patent for its iPort product line of in-wall iPod docking systems also covers in-wall iPad docking systems.

The patent was described as a wall mountable audio device connector dock for connecting handheld audio devices to a remote audio system, the connector dock comprising: a body portion extendable within the wall; a mounting frame connected to the body portion and disposable upon an external surface of the wall.

It was also described as a connector port mounted in the frame body portion, the connector port being electrically engageable to the handheld device and to the remote audio system to communicate signals between the handheld audio device and the remote audio system.

The patent was issued to inventors Jerry Curtis, Ray Call, Scott Struthers and Jon Berges with Dana Innovations as the assignee on the patent.
Supran told CE Pro, “This is not a patent pending. This is a real, granted patent. We own the patent for an in-wall electronic handheld audio docking device that connects to multiroom audio systems and sends audio signals.”

When asked if he considers an iPad an electronic handheld audio docking device, Supran replied, “Absolutely.”

“Downloadable applications are changing the industry,” says Supran, who showed off a prototype of an easy-to-install in-wall iPod Touch mounted in an elegant frame. Pricing for the in-wall is not set yet, but Supran estimates it will be in the $400 to $500 range.

Supran said that his Company will launch an in-wall iPad system from iPort “soon.”