The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has published a patent filed by Apple back in September 2008 which describes the "systems and methods for saving and restoring scenes in a multimedia system" (via AppleInsider). Patent number 8,519,820, which lists Alan Cannistraro, a developer who worked on the original iTunes Remote application for iOS devices, appears to show an intelligent universal remote on a generic Apple device that can connect to a variety of audio-visual components around the user's home or workplace. The system is also capable of connecting to various "smart home" devices such as thermostats, lights and window blinds using either a wireless network, Bluetooth or a a similar wireless protocol.

iphone_intelligent_remote_patent
According to the patent, Apple's system would allow users to control all of their connected devices, and would receive signals from each device based on its current operating state. The system proposed by Apple would automatically recognize each device, with data being transmitted over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or a similar wireless protocol.

The system can also detect individual usage patterns and tailor the components to individual requirements. The patent lists an example of a horror movie — a user may want a certain combination of lighting — and this would be recognised by the system. It can also search a list of pre-defined settings that best suits the genre and users will have the option to either accept or reject a suggestion. The patent also describes a system whereby users can stop and restart media when they move around the house — for example, when they move to a room containing another television.

Although the patent was filed back in September 2008, the technology has not yet been implemented on any iOS device. It would also require significant hardware and software commitments by the manufacturers of home audio and visual components, as well as the manufacturers of various "smart home" devices.

Tag: Patent

Top Rated Comments

nostaws Avatar
119 months ago
Unless I am missing something, I can't believe that they got a patent for this.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
notjustjay Avatar
119 months ago
Why? Did you read the actual patent or just go by the summary? Is there anything that can capture the state of devices on the network, save the state, then return them back to that state later on? Anything before the patent was filed in 2008?

This sounds a lot like what the Hue app does with lights. Except that the app still doesn't have support for saving the current configuration of the lights to a preset (even though the hub api supports it and there are many scripts written to do just that).

Well, home automation systems using X10 or Insteon, for starters (not to mention other competing technologies by Lutron, Z-Wave, etc.) You could define scenes using home automation software like HomeSeer, and fire them off to customize your appliances on/off and dimmer levels for a variety of devices. You could set scenes off from handheld remotes, wall controllers, touch screens, timed schedules, triggers on sensor inputs (motion, dawn/dusk), etc. You could set up scenes to be fired from remote controls (like a Harmony or Pronto) to coincide with watching movies, so, for example, one button press on your smart remote or wall controller (perhaps labeled "Watch A Movie") would dim your lights, close your automated curtains/blinds, turn on your projector and Blu-Ray player, drop your electric screen, and set up the inputs on your amp. You'd program these scenes by either explicitly setting them in software or by capturing the state of each individual controller you're planning to use.

Apple's got their own unique twist on this, sure, but the general concept has been around for a while.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Iconoclysm Avatar
119 months ago
It's odd that you would want to put 1970s Technology into a smart Phone

Hmm, better get rid of TCP/IP
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
3282868 Avatar
119 months ago
This sounds a lot like what the Hue app does with lights. Except that the app still doesn't have support for saving the current configuration of the lights to a preset (even though the hub api supports it and there are many scripts written to do just that).

Actually, it does save the configuration. Currently you can save the level and color of the lights, use or create an easy IFTTT recipe (the lights in my hallway turn blue when rain is expected - usually a good hours notice), set recipes that use specific lights and at a specific color and level. With geofencing, it's great to activate lights based on location(s).

----------


Apple's got their own unique twist on this, sure, but the general concept has been around for a while.

Exactly
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
3282868 Avatar
119 months ago
Does it do this?
"The patent lists an example of a horror movie -- a user may want a certain combination of lighting -- and this would be recognised by the system."

It seems like you could go on the Apple device, scroll down to Silent Hill, and it'll set your surround sound settings, down the lighting to a specific ambient level, and maybe even turn down the air to reduce noise, all with one button push.
Actually, I can do that already.

- Phillips Hue

- Samsung LED 55"

- Pioneer Elite AVR

Use my iPad Mini or iPhone, set one touch buttons for media, done. Phillips Hue lights are used throughout main areas of my home, have made various one touch "recipes" along with Harmony link recipe controls for my media center. Hit one recipe for my lighting, then turn everything on and control it via Harmony Link. My Pioneer Elite AVR has various sound settings (although "Pure Direct" should be the mode any one uses for HTPC and BD's), and my Mac Mini is my HTPC, play media via iTunes or VLC on my Synology Media Server). I have a "Trane" HVAC system in my home, no need to "turn down" any A/C.

Let's just take the basics:

- Phillips Hue Hub and 3 Bulbs - $199.95
- Harmony Link - $89.00

Lights and media center controlled via already owned iDevice(s) and free app. Whether you use an AppleTV, Mac Mini or other media system, no need for tv, AVR, etc manufacturers to modify hardware.

:)
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tkatz Avatar
119 months ago
It's odd that there's still no IR output on the iPhone.
A universal remote control app for tv, DVD, etc seems so obvious...

Other smartphones have one.

Just one more thing to use up space in the phone…

I like the external devices that have IR blasters. Like the harmony hub that comes standalone for use with mobile devices, and the one that comes with the remote that can be controlled by both the physical remote and mobile devices.

More and more devices are starting to have built-in wifi/network control anyway.

Though I do remember playing with the IR on my palm.. V I think? (or whatever version it was) It was fun.. for a day or two. I prefer physical remotes with tactile buttons.

----------

Unless I am missing something, I can't believe that they got a patent for this.

Why? Did you read the actual patent or just go by the summary? Is there anything that can capture the state of devices on the network, save the state, then return them back to that state later on? Anything before the patent was filed in 2008?

This sounds a lot like what the Hue app does with lights. Except that the app still doesn't have support for saving the current configuration of the lights to a preset (even though the hub api supports it and there are many scripts written to do just that).
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky Removed From iOS App Store Ahead of Upcoming Shutdown

Wednesday September 28, 2022 4:27 pm PDT by
The Dark Sky weather app that's owned by Apple is no longer available for download in the U.S. App Store, suggesting that it has been removed ahead of schedule. Apple acquired Dark Sky back in March 2020 and has since incorporated elements of the app into the Weather app available on the iPhone (and soon, the iPad). Dark Sky remained available for purchase as a standalone weather app...
iphone 14 pro max vs 13 max 2

Camera Comparison: iPhone 14 Pro Max vs. iPhone 13 Pro Max

Thursday September 29, 2022 7:44 am PDT by
The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max introduce some major improvements in camera technology, adding a 48-megapixel lens and low-light improvements across all lenses with the new Photonic Engine. We've spent the last week working on an in-depth comparison that pits the new iPhone 14 Pro Max against the prior-generation iPhone 13 Pro Max to see just how much better the iPhone 14 Pro Max can be. Subscrib ...
apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tony blevins car

Apple Procurement VP Departs Company After Vulgar TikTok Comment

Thursday September 29, 2022 12:38 pm PDT by
Tony Blevins, Apple's vice president of procurement, is set to depart the company after he made a crude comment about his profession in a recent TikTok video, reports Bloomberg. Blevins was in a video by TikTok creator Daniel Mac, who was doing a series on the jobs of people he spotted with expensive cars. After seeing Blevins in an expensive Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, Mac asked Blevins what ...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
iPhone 15 to Switch From Lightning to USB C in 2023 feature sans arrow

Kuo: iPhone 14 Pro Max Popularity Could Lead to More Differentiation Between iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max

Wednesday September 28, 2022 10:22 am PDT by
Apple has seen high demand for the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max, which could lead the company to further differentiate the next-generation iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Apple could add exclusive features to the iPhone 15 Pro Max in an effort to encourage more people to purchase the larger and more expensive device. Kuo last week said that Apple asked...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
iOS 16

Everything New in the Latest iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 Betas: Stage Manager Expansion, Wallpaper Tweaks and More

Tuesday September 27, 2022 11:36 am PDT by
Apple today released new betas of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 to developers, tweaking some of the functionality that's been introduced in prior betas and in the case of iPadOS 16.1, adding a major new feature to Stage Manager. We've rounded up everything new in both betas below. Wallpaper Updates Apple has updated the Wallpaper section of the Settings app to allow users to swap between...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...