New Apple patent reveals groundbreaking universal TV remote
Apple is working on a universal TV remote that could change your living room for good
A newly filed patent request from Apple reveals the company is working on something rather special: an advanced universal TV remote for use with Apple services like Apple TV, your iPhone/iPad and your TV set.
How the remote works seems almost too far-fetched to believe at this juncture in time. According to the filing one of the new features of Apple’s universal remote works as follows:
'You take a photo of your current TV remote and it sends it to iCloud for analysis. It then sends a "virtual copy" of your remote, functionality and all, to your iPhone. You're now able to control your current TV with Apple's advanced universal remote and enjoy all of Apple's TV remote features and likely tie-in products and services.'
Universal remotes, at least, historically, usually require some form of programming by you, the end-user, and more than a few wasted hours consulting hard-to-read user manuals. The end result is usually one of abject failure and disappointment as you begin taping your Sky, TV and DVD remote together, wallowing in your defeat.
Well no more - Apple plans to change all this. Its universal remote will be simple to use and only require you to snap an image of your old remote, send it to iCloud, wait and then open it up ‘virtually’ inside your iPhone alongside controls for all of Apple’s TV services.
‘It also appears that Apple is about to advance their Apple Remote application,’ according to Patently Apple. ‘In fact, it's likely to be integrated into a future iPhone (or other iOS device) instead of it being an add-on app at the App Store.’
The report added: ‘The advanced features being added to Apple remote could be signalling their [Apple’s] preparation for a standalone HDTV as it's to control a television and other related entertainment devices. But it could mean more than that as you'll see [sic].’
Apple’s universal remote, according to the patent filing, will apparently self-configure, taking on the full functionality of the original device, like some form of inanimate living room-bound Highlander.
The method for achieving this works in two ways: ‘The control device may capture an image of the electronic device (Block 132) with its built in camera. The control device may then identify the device that is to be controlled.’
Or ‘the control device may determine the make and/or model and/or the type of the device to be controlled'.
All in all, this sounds like quite the development, especially for those who already have Apple TV in their living rooms. Could this be one of Apple’s bolt-on USPs for its rumoured iTV television set? It’ would certainly be a cool feature to announce alongside the TV.
There’s no word on when Apple will launch its HDTV, but much leaked information points to early next year – and after reading the following patent, we’re now officially excited.
Source: Patently Apple