Apple's universal remote concept hints at future television set

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Comments

  • tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 39,978member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    As you probably know, I generally agree with most of your comments, but I find this really quite dubious.



    Touch-typing on a sub-sized, non-standard, non-tactile keyboard????



    methinks you are redefining "touch-typing" a bit here.



    "Not looking at my hands when I type" is how I define it. The iPhone is really hard to do; I've had mine since Day One and still don't trust myself to it.



    But the iPad is cake.
  • pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    I have no issues "touch-typing" as we are calling it here either, on the iPad and mostly on the iPhone too. Thanks to autocorrect and muscle memory, you can type like a madman, almost but not quite as fast as a physical keyboard. It didn't used to be the case for me with the iPad 1, as it seemed to be too slow for the keyboard to keep up with my speed, but the iPad 2 handles it just fine without any delay.
  • zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 1,845member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


    In addition to Tallest Skil's comments, I will point out that programmable touch screen A/V control panels have been around 15+ years. While the earliest ones were mounted into a console and hardwired, it's definitely not a new concept.



    There are ways of designing a touchscreen user interface where controlling a single variable (e.g., contrast) can be done fairly easily by not looking at the screen, yet still retaining the ability to adjust in minute amounts.



    In any case, this does look like a very old idea that they are now adding to their patent quiver. Most Apple patents never see the light of day in a finished product on a store shelf.



    And all the universal remotes out there that I've seen completely suck whether they are devices or apps. The tookits to customize the UI or the programming to read buttons from other remotes are incredibly obtuse and require far too much work or they have technical issues or you have to purchase too many separate additional IR boxes. Just go the tech forums where people discuss remotes and read the posts about the technical issues people have and the posts from people who have spent an absurd amount of hours customizing their remote. This is the kind of thing that Apple excels at.



    Some of the remote applications supplied by the manufacturers (Sony, Pioneer, etc.) are actually pretty good, but it's a pain to keep switching from app to app. And since it's done over the network rather than IR, you generally can't turn devices on, only off.



    Some of my remotes are semi-universal, but there's still problems. If I forget to hit the "STB" button on my TV remote before I change channels, it resets the TV to use the over-the-air antenna input instead of the cable box. The TV remote has a lot of functionality, but it's not programmable and it's lacking the "Favorites" button that my cable remote has. My Pioneer receiver remote is a complete disaster. It's backlit, but it only backlights the buttons, not the labels, so you can't see anything in the dark.



    My concern about an Apple app/device is that in an attempt to simplify, they'll remove a lot of functionality. But if I have to go back to the device's original physical remote to accomplish something, then the Apple app/device is worthless, so there has to be a way to get all the functionality in there for those who want it, but still make it usable. Auto discovery is a good first step. If it's a device rather than an app, they can build IR in. If it's not a device, perhaps they can build IR into future versions of Apple TV that would control all the other devices. The last thing I want is more boxes.
  • c4rlobc4rlob Posts: 277member
    It would be easy for Apple to apply the same concept of their Remote App to the current remote wand but using a smooth magic-touch interface like the magic mouse. And clicking the entire surface would be the select button.

    And because of the simplicity they could easily add an IR sensor (and throw in Bluetooth too); that would give it the ability to recognize a wide range of devices. Siri would live on the Apple TV for voice navigation and the wand would only need to serve as the external microphone.



    The big question I have is would they decide to finally include volume control?
  • tshorttshort Posts: 32member
    Sounds a lot like one...



    http://www.pronto.philips.com/Products/
  • bappobappo Posts: 24member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post


    This is *obviously* an ancient patent they're just putting in now in order to enlarge their quiver. Seriously, "video tape player"??



    There is no effective way to do discovery. All methods have obvious and very real failure modes.



    And Video Disk Player ? Not DVD, Video Disks went out of business when ? early 80s ?



    By the way, it is just me or the idea of voice controlling a TV is strange, considering that TV talk all the time ?

    What about an actor saying "Shut me off" ?



    Bappo
  • kossokosso Posts: 2member
    i think this is particularly interesting given that Woz was the inventor of the first ever universal remote control.



    Add voice control via (something like) Siri and I think that's what will 'crack' it.
  • kossokosso Posts: 2member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bappo View Post


    And Video Disk Player ? Not DVD, Video Disks went out of business when ? early 80s ?



    By the way, it is just me or the idea of voice controlling a TV is strange, considering that TV talk all the time ?

    What about an actor saying "Shut me off" ?



    Bappo



    good point, but I expect a button would/could be held while controlling via voice, which would duck the audio during commands.
  • suddenly newtonsuddenly newton Posts: 13,052member
    Doesn't matter what this is. Some Microsoftie will blog about how Microsoft had this in WP7 since last year, and how they need to do a better job marketing it.
  • mojorillamojorilla Posts: 3member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    As you probably know, I generally agree with most of your comments, but I find this really quite dubious.



    Touch-typing on a sub-sized, non-standard, non-tactile keyboard????



    methinks you are redefining "touch-typing" a bit here.



    I can type 27 words per minute with 97% accuracy without auto correct with my thumbs on my IPhone, tested using the TapTyping app. I don't look at my thumbs when typing.



    Here is a video of a guy doing 81 words per minute.
  • shock meshock me Posts: 56member
    This is what connected TV should REALLY mean. Every component should be aware of every other component around it. My blue ray should stream to my iPad. My pad should change the cable channel. My phone should be able to set my OTA DVR.
  • firefly7475firefly7475 Posts: 1,499member
    Apple won't ever release this.



    Touch screen remotes are horrible.
  • mr. memr. me Posts: 3,216member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by asterion View Post


    This looks like a means of embedding Apple's iPhone/iPad products within the broader "watching and recording television" product area.



    I would suggest that it seems more likely Apple will seek to enlarge their iOS ecosystem into the television product arena, rather than jump into this area with a discrete, stand-alone product (the iPhone was originally pitched as an extension of the iPod/iTunes experience).



    So this patent suggests that the way of controlling the Apple Television that Steve said he'd "cracked" may involve the iPhone or iPad...



    [BTW, it seems to me that the reference to video tape may be a way for Apple to indicate functionality without giving away their true intentions.]



    In the main, I agree. Let me say at the outset that there are currently numerous virtual remote control apps available on the iTunes App Store. Among these is a Goggle TV virtual remote control app so that you may use your iPhone to control your Goggle TV.



    Elsewhere on the AppleInsider.com Forum, I expressed my opinion that an iOS-based universal remote control would have capabilities that would dramatically improve the home entertainment experience. The rumored Apple HDTV could be the hub of the home entertainment center. iOS would give it the ability to establish two-way communication with its iOS-based remote control. I had seen two-way communication as a way to pair the TV with its remote control and to ensure that, in a world where everyone owns an iPhone, that only iOS devices of your chosing control your Apple HDTV. Auto-discovery features is logical extra benefit.



    Auto-discovery is impossible with current home entertainment components. However, iOS would make it much easier to acquire the proper virtual remote control app. Unlike Logitech's Harmony, you would not need to connect your iOS universal remote to your computer to download the app. You may download directly to the device.



    Although the Apple universal remote would work best if all components were Apple products, it is not necessary for the Apple universal remote to dramatically improve the user experience. Consider the case where the Apple HDTV is able to transmit thumbnail video from all connected sources to the remote. Rather than displaying just a channel number, network logo, or component type on the remote, you have the option of displaying a thumb nail of each current program.



    Perhaps, those who fear the loss of "touch-type" operation of their remote would not mind looking at their remotes if there were something to see on them.
  • no2arealikeno2arealike Posts: 8member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post


    This is *obviously* an ancient patent they're just putting in now in order to enlarge their quiver. Seriously, "video tape player"??



    There is no effective way to do discovery. All methods have obvious and very real failure modes.



    If you read the patent, it suggests that the controlled devices may support discovery and may also communicate status in real time. So there might be an AirTalk (my term) protocol whereby a device responds to a request for its ID, so the app can look up the control commands. But it can also include the user entering the device to be controlled.



    A more sophisticated device can send its user interface as HTML or XML. This might include the name of the media, whether it is playing or paused, and what point it is at in the playback. This takes it beyond what 'smart remotes' can do today. Those remotes don't get feedback from the devices so they can't display volume level, etc.
  • mr. memr. me Posts: 3,216member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by No2AreAlike View Post


    If you read the patent, it suggests that the controlled devices may support discovery and may also communicate status in real time. So there might be an AirTalk (my term) protocol whereby a device responds to a request for its ID, so the app can look up the control commands. But it can also include the user entering the device to be controlled.



    A more sophisticated device can send its user interface as HTML or XML. This might include the name of the media, whether it is playing or paused, and what point it is at in the playback. This takes it beyond what 'smart remotes' can do today. Those remotes don't get feedback from the devices so they can't display volume level, etc.



    You are thinking along the same lines as I. In order to make this work, Apple could license "AirTalk" as open source making it available to all consumer electronic manufacturers. There are several members of this forum who warn against assuming that Apple's TV play is a TV set. I believe that an AirTalk-type universal remote control would go farther toward improving the user experience than would an Apple HDTV.
  • MarvinMarvin Posts: 13,649member, moderator
    LG have brought out a remote similar to what I would have expected from Apple:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a38T3MBC78I



    They even called it the Magic Remote. Wii-like wand for movement linked with voice input for browsing and posting online.



    It's missing multi-touch though for momentum scrolling and zooming and still has a cursor.
  • solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    LG have brought out a remote similar to what I would have expected from Apple:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a38T3MBC78I



    They even called it the Magic Remote. Wii-like wand for movement linked with voice input for browsing and posting online.



    It's missing multi-touch though for momentum scrolling and zooming and still has a cursor.



    That's the best remote/TV for Internet implementation I've seen.
  • dobbydobby Posts: 789member
    I don't see a 'lost remote' feature. Now that would be useful.

    The amount of time my wife or kids forget where they put the remote is ridiculous and even worse its not even grounds for divorce if they do!
  • ljocampoljocampo Posts: 657member
    I think when Steve said he cracked this tv thing, he was talking about when he threw his apple remote at his tv!! Next rumor please.
  • xennexxennex Posts: 36member
    The way this patent comes across to me is of a remote control (which in itself is not patentable since there is so many examples of prior art in forms both physical as well as the 'touchscreen' apps) and a processor/receiver pair. The core of the patent protects the reply from the said appliance CONTAINING the processor/receiver pair that includes a customized input method defined in a markup language, HTML/XML (which is relatively obvious so that portion cannot be enforced). Practically everything else in the patent should be unenforceable due to prior art. The problem I foresee with this patent is that Apple will have to convince hardware manufacturers to use the aforementioned 'processor/receiver pair' that sends an interface back to the remote control. With Internet access being so ubiquitous in today's home systems there is no reason the customized input method of a discovered device (which btw is and obvious property of bluetooth enabled devices) cannot be immediately downloaded and stored on a Internet enabled specialized remote or portable device (smartphone, tablet, etc.).
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