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1/24/2006
03:37 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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What Disney's Pixar Deal Means For Apple: The MoodPod

With Disney set to buy Pixar for $7 billion in stock, there will be two main beneficiaries. The first, of course, is Steve Jobs, who stands to double his $3 billion net worth. The second is Apple Computer.

With Disney set to buy Pixar for $7 billion in stock, there will be two main beneficiaries.

The first, of course, is Steve Jobs, who stands to double his $3 billion net worth.

The second is Apple Computer.As a Disney insider and probable board member, Jobs will be in a unique position to commercialize innovative Disney technology.

While Disney's detractors insist that the company is only interested the innovation engendered by extending its copyrights, that's not the case. Disney has a lively team of patent lawyers churning out all sort of great inventions.

There's Disney's height measurement method and apparatus "for measuring the height of a guest at a theme park." (Evidently, the wooden cutouts of cartoon characters traditionally employed to separate the short from the tall proved too baffling for theme-park employees and visitors alike.)

There's also the fold-open box for displaying toys, without which the world would never have discovered the wonders of see-through packaging.

But Disney's innovations also extend to Apple's markets. Consider the company recently filed a patent "for synchronizing a portable media player [and] generating selectable playlists based on the user's mood."

Given Apple's hippy-hued past, it's a safe bet that many of the Mac loyalists who bought candy-colored iMacs also had a fondness for mood rings. And what could please that group more than an iPod that measures its owner's mood?

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