Would you like fries with that download?

The New Scientist reported, and the NYT followed up on, a Disney patent application which could lead to McDonald’s Happy Meal toys being replaced with portable media players that hold Disney movies, music, games or photos. Users could add files to the devices by earning points with food purchases. The NYT says:

The plan could work something like this: A customer enters a restaurant and buys a meal, receiving the portable media player and an electronic code that authorizes a partial download of a movie, video or other media file, which can be downloaded while in the restaurant, according to a United States Patent and Trademark Office application filed by Disney. Then, with each subsequent return, the customer earns more downloadable data, eventually getting an entire movie or game.

The report also claims that McDonalds has been kitting out its premises with wireless Internet connections since 2003, and since then has installed Wi-Fi in more than 6,200 restaurants worldwide. It charges customers for Wi-Fi usage and trades promotional coupons and prepaid cards for network access time.

I really must get out more. On second thoughts, perhaps not.