iPod or iPhone Media Remote Control

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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A new patent application describes the possibility of the use of an iPod or iPhone as a media remote control for a home entertainment system.
A portable multimedia player (such as the iPod. manufactured by Apple Computer, Inc. of Cupertino, Calif.) is used to wirelessly access and control a media server (such as a personal computer running iTunes software) that is streaming digital media by way of a wireless interface to a media unit (such as a stereo/speakers in the case of streaming digital audio).
Unique to the devices would be the ability to transfer digital media file metadata - such as song title, author, etc. associated with the music or video.

The patent application was filed in 2005, so represents technology that Apple was working on a couple of years ago.

Article Link
 

Gymnut

macrumors 68000
Apr 18, 2003
1,848
3
Just release something resembling an iPod already. At this point I'd buy one if all it did was play music, video, and opened the garage door.
 

davevad

macrumors newbie
Jul 19, 2007
3
0
iPhone + appleTV

Would love to see the iPhone and :apple:TV hook up. Really like the idea of being able to read things like show details on the phone, while still watching the selected content on the big screen. Could really add some flair to that 10 foot interface.
 

dongmin

macrumors 68000
Jan 3, 2002
1,708
0
Assuming it would be Wifi and not Bluetooth it would actually work more than 30 ft. (more like 10 ft. in reality) from the unit, like at the other end of the house.


Apple is definitely thinking WI-FI, although the patent doesn't necessarily rule out Bluetooth/IR. The biggest desire seems to be to control a media "server", i.e. a Mac, that's streaming to your home stereo/TV.
 

ajhill

macrumors 6502
May 2, 2007
268
0
I don't need a remote. A widescreen iPod is all I need:eek:.
A widescreen iPod is certainty before Christmas. :)

So if they put in a remote for the upcoming HD movie rentable Apple Tv devices that would just be a bonus. A universal remote type capability would definitely be a bonus for a widescreen iPod. With OSX on there the possibilities could be endless.
 
D

davidmyers

Guest
Sort of interesting.

Slowly but surely Apple wants to control all your media centers in your house,
and they aren't doing too badly. I am sort of surprised that technology
has taken this long to produce this much confused hardware in the world,
but that's just the way it is I guess.

I'd be very much in favor of an all-in-one item which is a vid-recorder to disk,
has a advanced dvd (bluray or whatever it turns out to be) slot too,
serves as an airport express, and has an on-screen tv-menu for ordering
off itunes. Honestly you could get darn close to not even needing to
screw around with a cable company at all if they pulled it off. Then
the ipod/phone is the keyboard when it needs to be, and synchs with
the drive of this new device seamlessly. I don't
see why such a thing wouldn't be available within the next three years.
The only trainwreck is if the DRM folks just can't handle some aspects of it.
Increasingly things are slowed down by this, I fear. Witness the internet
radio stream-ripping issue.
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,170
1,148
Colorado Springs, CO
What I would find doubly cool is if you could stream your tunes from the iPod/iPhone to iTunes (or an AE) and then to a receiver so that you wouldn't have to have your tunes on your computer.
 
D

davidmyers

Guest
What I would find doubly cool is if you could stream your tunes from the iPod/iPhone to iTunes (or an AE) and then to a receiver so that you wouldn't have to have your tunes on your computer.
Right.
Furthermore, if you *do* want them to be in both places, they're trying
to make things as painless as possible.

I think Apple's other patent application is just as telling as this one: they
are creating a system for synching your whole user folder. This is why
having iphone (and soon ipod too I expect) run osx is so critical (among
other reasons **)... if user folder architecture is fairly standardized,
then you can carry your life with you to home computer, work computer,
laptop, set-top-box drive, and ipod/phone and have the synch software do
"the right thing" at all locations. Making this something other than a pain
in the rear would be very apple-like. Then users who want to run tunes
in whatever place they feel like can run them to the stereo however suits
them. And the way itunes is made, you could, if you wanted, just keep
song metadata and point to the real library on some other mounted device in
the wireless network. The possibilities are wide.



** another reason includes thwarting any competition over what
is the ideal mobile os platform...... if apple wants to lead like a banshee here,
they gotta open up the iphone architecture all the way, though, eventually
 

trex

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2006
2
0
Sonos, Salling Clicker, and Telekinesis

Sonos (http://www.sonos.com/) already makes a wireless audio system similar to how I hope an iPod could control a media server to deliver content to a stereo or TV. The nice thing about Sonos' product in contrast to using just a simple iTunes remote (like Salling Clicker) is that there is true multi-zone support. Multiple audio sources can be streamed simultaneously, and each source can stream to multiple destinations.

It would be cool to browse music from a media server on an iPod/iPhone using the standard iTunes interface with Cover Flow and everything. With the improved support for connecting to remote volumes in Leopard, I wonder if this functionality will coincide with Leopard's release.

I noticed the other day a cool project called Telekinesis (http://code.google.com/p/telekinesis/) that enables the iPhone to function as an iTunes remote since the iPhone can't run apps like Salling Clicker.
 

EagerDragon

macrumors 68020
Jun 27, 2006
2,098
0
MA, USA
opening the garage door, now that is genius!
Have it operate the lights in the driveway, the lock on the door, the house alarm, and give the dog an electric shock if it chews the newspaper or pees on the floor.

OSX iPod and iPhone would likely then have part of iTunes client UI to navegate and make a selection of what to play.
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,170
1,148
Colorado Springs, CO
Right.
Furthermore, if you *do* want them to be in both places, they're trying
to make things as painless as possible.

I think Apple's other patent application is just as telling as this one: they
are creating a system for synching your whole user folder. This is why
having iphone (and soon ipod too I expect) run osx is so critical (among
other reasons **)... if user folder architecture is fairly standardized,
then you can carry your life with you to home computer, work computer,
laptop, set-top-box drive, and ipod/phone and have the synch software do
"the right thing" at all locations. Making this something other than a pain
in the rear would be very apple-like. Then users who want to run tunes
in whatever place they feel like can run them to the stereo however suits
them. And the way itunes is made, you could, if you wanted, just keep
song metadata and point to the real library on some other mounted device in
the wireless network. The possibilities are wide.



** another reason includes thwarting any competition over what
is the ideal mobile os platform...... if apple wants to lead like a banshee here,
they gotta open up the iphone architecture all the way, though, eventually
Excellent. I hadn't thought of it that way. Sounds like Apple is slowly but surely taking over the media serving industry. ... I'd love to look at their roadmap.
 

dicklacara

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2004
973
1
SF Bay Area
Universal Remote

There are Universal Remotes out there that cost more than an 8 Gig iPhone.

You can google and see... here's one example: link

So, there is price precedent for devices in the iPod - iPhone range.

I would like to see the iPhone evolve to include truly Universal remote control capability:

1) add programmable IR capability to the iPhone so it can control Apple TV as well as TV, Stereos, etc.

2) add power-line interfaces to apple's plugged-in devices (Computers, Apple TV, iPod Hi-Fi, iPod/iPhone Chargers/Adapters/Docks, etc.). These devices could be part of a power-line network where all devices are monitored and controlled, and intelligent devices can perform the Monitor & Control functions.

3) Offer a new product a mass storage (media) server

The iPhone in your hand could display a custom keyboard for each specific task:

-- channel surfing (volume u/d channel u/d, num key pad)

-- programmable channel switching (Football game 1, Football game 2, etc., volume u/d

-- control of apple TV with on-screen coverflow (iPhone, TV either or both)

-- control of various home theatre components (stereo, speakers, equalizer)

-- control of home security system & monitors

-- control of appliances (Air, Furnace, etc.)

-- surf the TV program guide and schedule PVR recording/playback

-- Purchase & download movies/songs from ITMS

The iPhone could do the same thing for any/all zones/devices you care to set up in your home.

When you are away, you can do all of this from across the world via the iPhone's WiFi/Edge connection.

The Telekenesis iPhone Remote provides proof of concept of much of the above:

While writing this I used my iPhone to send a signal over the internet to my home computer to:

1) Take a picture with the iSight (or other cam) and send it to the iPhone.

2) Control iTunes (volume, select, play/stop, equalizer, etc.) from the iPhone. I couldn't hear the iTunes thru the iPhone, but because I was sitting in front of the Mac, I can tell you that the response to the iPhone Remote is amazing.

3) On the iPhone, display the Mac's desktop and open windows, run apps, logon to web sites... and see this all on the iPhone's screen (over the Internet)
 

EagerDragon

macrumors 68020
Jun 27, 2006
2,098
0
MA, USA
Right.
Furthermore, if you *do* want them to be in both places, they're trying
to make things as painless as possible.

I think Apple's other patent application is just as telling as this one: they
are creating a system for synching your whole user folder. This is why
having iphone (and soon ipod too I expect) run osx is so critical (among
other reasons **)... if user folder architecture is fairly standardized,
then you can carry your life with you to home computer, work computer,
laptop, set-top-box drive, and ipod/phone and have the synch software do
"the right thing" at all locations. Making this something other than a pain
in the rear would be very apple-like. Then users who want to run tunes
in whatever place they feel like can run them to the stereo however suits
them. And the way itunes is made, you could, if you wanted, just keep
song metadata and point to the real library on some other mounted device in
the wireless network. The possibilities are wide.



** another reason includes thwarting any competition over what
is the ideal mobile os platform...... if apple wants to lead like a banshee here,
they gotta open up the iphone architecture all the way, though, eventually
If you cary a lot of info with you in a device with a radio and or it is lost, Joe Hacker has a lot of your data. Better implement encryption first.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,407
4,435
The Peninsula
Yawn....

Have it operate the lights in the driveway, the lock on the door, the house alarm, and give the dog an electric shock if it chews the newspaper or pees on the floor.
Windows Mobile has a builtin IrDA remote control application, or you can get third party applications like Rudeo (http://www.rudeo.com/wmp.htm) that already do most or all of this - including the garage door, locks, lights.

Haven't seen the "dog zapper module" yet though, but if it's Z-Wave or X10 it would work!