Apple patent turns iPhone into smart home remote

By , Aug 27, 2013

apple-remote

The introduction of numerous media devices – from your television to DVD player and stereo – coupled with the growth of smart homes would seem to cry out for Apple-like simplification. It just so happens, there is a patent for that. Apple has patented a way to control your home media collection right from your iPhone.

The patent, filed a half-decade ago by the creator of the iTunes Remote app, uses “scenes” to adjust your home multimedia to fit settings like “Romantic Movie Night”, “Dinner,” or simply “Relax.”…

Titled “Systems and methods for saving and restoring scenes in a multimedia system,” the Apple patent published Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office suggests turning your iPhone or other smartphone into an intelligent remote.

“What Apple proposes is a software driven intelligent remote that can connect to multiple A/V components, as well as ‘smart home’ devices like lights and window shades, via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or other wireless protocols,” AppleInsider writes.

Although current universale remotes also use the “scene” metaphor to control various hardware, the devices are usually limited and require the user to complete complex setup.

The proposed remote injects some intelligence into the process, polling various devices to obtain their settings and configuration.

Along with knowing what volume your amplifier is set to, the proposed system could also learn what DVD is loaded, what music is playing and potentially even what channels your television receives.

More examples of intelligence are seen in the remote’s ability to learn how and when devices are used. For example, for the “Romantic Movie Night,” from talking with your multimedia system, the remote might learn you like dim lights, lowered curtains and your favorite Drew Barrymore flick.

Other examples might be “Guy’s Night,” a scene that automatically tunes in the NFL channel and starts the disco ball spinning.

The only stumbling block to such customization is that much of the needed hardware doesn’t yet exist.

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  • Boss

    Would be pretty cool if I could turn on my Air Con

  • FOFF

    yeah but with no infrared sensor its not gone be truly universal at all the %S should have included a basic infrared transmit or

    • felixtaf

      What Apple proposes is a software driven intelligent universal remote that can connect to multiple A/V components, as well as “smart home” devices like lights and window shades, via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or other wireless protocol.
      All the devices now has wifi and bluetooth… So, it can be universal…

      • FOFF

        i understand but IR is still the standard plug and play remote control method i wish iPhone had it..

  • Tsk Tsk.

    Another invention apple didn’t create but patents anyways.

    • Timothy

      US law prevents a patent from being taken on something that was already implemented by another person or company prior to the time of the patent application. So unless it goes to court and they declare the patent void, your argument is invalid.

      • Pitchy

        That’s never stopped them from approving half the stuff Apple submits.

      • felixtaf

        They approved it because of valid reasons, not because Apple applied for it. This particular patent was filed five years ago too.

      • Pitchy

        They have won patents for things that were already patented. But it’s ok when Apple does something like take a magnetic power adapter already in use on things like deep fryers and put it on a laptop and suddenly it’s a new patent, even though it’s the exact same concept, just on a different device… then Apple uses that to sue anyone else who decides to do something similar.

      • felixtaf

        You are right. But what we always hear is only the superficial info about a patent. A patent will not be disclosed completely to public. So, a magneticpower adapter patent will have some deep tech/codes that was patented by Apple. They call it as claims in patent. Ahese claims are the real inventions. But we will never know the full details until the patent holder discloses it to public. But most tech inventions wont go public.

    • felixtaf

      You seriously dont know how a patent system works. Not only US law, law in every country prevents a patent being copied or manipulated. Whoever submits first with valid documents and supporting articles will be awarded patent. Patent is not like a commodity, you can pay and buy at the same day. Its a process that will go for years to get it awarded.

      Check the AppleInsider link. The patent WAS filed FIVE years ago!

  • Hyr3m

    Pathentic…

    • FOFF

      unfortunate

  • CJ Biggar

    hey can i learn more about technolgy

  • CJ Biggar

    apple needs a computer that will block all inapropriate sites and videos

    • Aaron de Silva

      =.= Just use the parental controls on the Mac or if you are the network administrator (the person who knows how to configure your home router) you can block the sites there. I believe you can also choose to contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) to have sites filtered.

  • Pitchy

    Can’t the Galaxy S4 already do this? Pretty sure I have seen Peel and Watch Now or whatever it’s called do pretty much this same thing.

    Besides, my old Nokia phone had an IR port on it that I could use to control my TV and DVD player and that was like 10 years ago.