Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

Summary: In addition to controlling home theater devices like DVD players and home automation systems, the remote concept could also work with your computer to run iTunes or execute other functions.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Apple, Legal
53

AppleInsider has revealed that Apple has patented a new universal remote that presumably could accompany the Apple television set rumored to be in development.

The company's remote concept is designed around the concept of a dynamic touchscreen that not only can automatically detect devices (without users needing to punch in special codes), but also present users specific controls for those devices automatically, reducing the number of buttons that typically litter universal remotes.

In addition to controlling home theater devices like DVD players and home automation systems, the remote concept could also work with your computer to run iTunes or execute other functions.

While the Apple TV set has been rumored to work with Siri-like voice controls, this patent app suggests an alternative input method. Unfortunately, there aren't details like the size and appearance of the device to give us an idea of what it would exactly look like. But it appears that part of Apple's plan to revolutionize the television involves reinventing its remote control as well.

Topics: Hardware, Apple, Legal

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53 comments
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  • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

    touchscreen = glass?

    Wont be getting one in my house, i've had to replace a remote on several occasions. Young kids love to break them.
    danjames2012
    • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

      @danjames2012

      While I agree on the abuse young kids put remotes through, I suspect if Apple does in fact make one, it will be sturdier than the type that come with your typical cable provider's STB. My son's iPod touch has withstood quite a bit of abuse from him as well as my daughter. Both less than 7 years old.

      My bigger concern with a touchscreen is the loss of tactile buttons, which if well designed, can allow operation without actually looking at the remote. As it currently stands, I can adjust volume, change channels, navigate the guide and DVR without having to look at the remote (and thus continuing to watch the current show). With Apple's minimalist approach, I fear that such things will become more difficult to do. Granted, they haven't totally elimated such things from their iDevices, but they definitely try to minimize their use.
      TroyMcClure
      • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

        @piousmonk I agree
        deepee912
      • Chuckle

        @piousmonk

        Doubt it. If you think yes I have some kids to loan you....

        Besides, there isn't a remote on the market today that can handle all tv's, etc.....

        Apples going to fix this?
        Doubt it.
        rhonin
      • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

        @piousmonk
        I agree. I can feel around on my current remote for the button I wish to press using only my peripheral vision at most. Once you have touched a touch screen you have performed an action.

        "I didn't REALLY intend to order that XXX movie. I was feeling around on my remote. Honest!"
        DT2
    • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

      @danjames2012 <br>Logitech Harmony 1100<br><br><a href="http://www.logitech.com/en-gb/remotes/universal-remotes/devices/4708" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.logitech.com/en-gb/remotes/universal-remotes/devices/4708</a><br><br>Also the many Remote Control app's for IOS/Android etc...<br><br>USPO is full of Apple Fanbois.

      --
      Automaticall Detect devices without the need to enter a device number - you have to be kidding. Have Apple cross-licenced The Force from George Lucas to enable this ?
      neil.postlethwaite
  • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

    How can they patent a touchscreen remote? I already own one, a Logitech Harmony One, and its far from the only one on the market.
    txscott
    • This company patented the rectangular tablet

      @rshol
      Nothing that this company does surprises me any more.
      toddybottom_z
      • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

        @toddybottom_z You really are a dumba$$. Apple did [i]NOT[/i] patent the rectangle you fraking FUD-spreading troll. Unless you can supply a link to an Apple-owned patent from the patent office claiming otherwise.
        athynz
      • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

        @Pete "athynz" Athens

        +1
        dave95.
      • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

        @Pete "athynz" Athens
        the link you requested:

        http://www.scribd.com/doc/61944044/Community-Design-000181607-0001
        john-whorfin
      • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

        @Pete "athynz" Athens

        Apple:
        "We claim the ornamental design for an electronic device, substantially as shown and described"

        Please note that there is no description of processor, architecture, OS, etc.

        http://www.google.com/patents/USD504889?printsec=description&dq=D504889&ei=0fhUTs6eNMKDtgfx9fyPAg#v=onepage&q=D504889&f=false

        http://www.scribd.com/doc/61944044/Community-Design-000181607-0001
        tkejlboom
      • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

        @john-whorfin Nice try but that's a link to the patent for the iPad - if you keep scrolling down they show it in all dimensions including the ports. So they [i]still[/i] have not tried to patent the rectangle.

        Next!
        athynz
      • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

        @Pete "athynz" Athens

        Seriously? Are you six? No one MEANS that Apple has a patent or trademark on "rectangle". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphor The assertion is that Apple's "iPad patent" is a series of picture showing a rectangular cube with two ports in it. The CLAIM is for a DESIGN, which isn't even valid in the U.S., which is why Apple didn't even try to enforce it here. The patent doesn't protect Apple's product because an underpaid bureaucrat rubber stamped it. It protects when the validity is "proven" in court.
        tkejlboom
      • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

        @Pete "athynz" Athens

        Seriously? Are you six? No one MEANS that Apple has a patent or trademark on "rectangle". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphor The assertion is that Apple's "iPad patent" is a series of picture showing a rectangular cube with two ports in it. The CLAIM is for a DESIGN, which isn't even valid in the U.S., which is why Apple didn't even try to enforce it here. The patent doesn't protect Apple's product because an underpaid bureaucrat rubber stamped it. It protects when the validity is "proven" in court.
        tkejlboom
      • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

        john-whorfin, tkejlboom: +1
        toddybottom_z
      • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

        @tkejlboom Seriously? This whole "patent the rectangle and/or rectangle tablet" argument is pure unadulterated bullsh1t - come man. NO ONE - not one of you Apple haters - have been able to show suits Apple brought up over the Xoom, The [i]original[/i] Galaxy Tab, The Nook Color, Nook Tablet, Kindle Fire, etc. for having rectangular tablets. So the question to ask is "Are YOU six?"

        But okay let's look at your links - the first one shows the patent was dated May 10, 2005... the second was reposting the link I comment on - nice.

        It looks like I got on the nerves of a few Apple Haters...
        athynz
      • There are no Apple haters, only Apple freaks & lovers, who also hate

        anything and everything not Apple...

        @Pete "athynz" Athens

        LMAO! Look at the pot calling the kettle black!

        You said:[quote]It looks like I got on the nerves of a few Apple Haters...[/quote]

        And also said first in this thread:[quote]@toddybottom_z You really are a dumba$$. Apple did NOT patent the rectangle you fraking FUD-spreading troll. Unless you can supply a link to an Apple-owned patent from the patent office claiming otherwise.[/quote]

        You are entertaining to say the least...

        [i]~~~~~~~~~~
        The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
        ~ Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970

        Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn't there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything.
        ~ Robert A. Heinlein

        When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.
        ~ Wayne Dyer
        [/i]
        WinTard
      • Pete "athynz" Athens, he didn't say Apple patented 'the rectangle'

        @toddybottom_z
        he said that they patented the rectang[b]ular tablet[/b].
        William Farrel
      • RE: Apple patents new touchscreen remote control for a future Apple TV

        @WinTard [b]LMAO! Look at the pot calling the kettle black![/b]

        Not really - When Apple screws up something I say it's a bad move by Apple... my comment wasn't a religious thing but my opinion that toddybottom is a dumba$$.

        @William Farrel Yeah I did drop the ball there a bit - I guess it's because all the Apple/ iHaters are usually the first ones to claim Apple patented the [i]rectangle[/i]. But either way Apple is not claiming to have patented the rectangular tablet either as toddybottom is claiming - hence my opinion of his intelligence.

        @all - I have yet to see any links to those lawsuits I asked about. Nor can I find them on Google or Bing. Could this possibly mean that Apple did not in fact - as toddybottom likes to claim - invent the rectangular tablet but invented the iPad and sued Samsung for manufacturing an exact clone?
        athynz