Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone may become the central remote control for the wireless-enabled homes of the future. In a recently published patent uncovered by Apple Insider, Apple outlines a system for “saving and restoring scenes in a multimedia system” by utilizing the iPhone as a master controller.
A “scene” in this context refers to the states of various components in a multimedia system. However, the multimedia system that Apple describes extends beyond typical electronic devices like televisions, computers, and stereo equipment.
In the patent titled “Systems and methods for saving and restoring scenes in a multimedia system,” Apple notes that this system would also encompass appliances “such as lights, window shades, and fireplaces.” In this sense, Apple is describing a universal remote control for a futuristic smart home.
Traditional remote controls already allow users to save settings on different devices and restore those individual electronic components to a particular scene. However, users must still define which device to access in order to restore previously saved settings. Apple’s proposed system would take a holistic approach to all the components in a multimedia system and simply activate the appropriate components in response to a command to restore a scene, Apple Insider reports.
However, Apple’s system wouldn’t just be an intuitive remote control that works seamlessly across multiple devices. Apple’s remote control system would also remember the settings of every component in a user’s multimedia system — from the brightness of a room’s lighting to the volume of a particular film — and use this scene information to make future intelligent recommendations.
The system could recommend a previously saved scene based on the “genre of media that is playing, time of the day, and special occasions.” For example, if the system detects that a horror film is being played, it may recommend the previous scene that was used for watching a film of the same genre.
Although the system described in this patent would undoubtedly offer users an intuitive and convenient way to control their home’s multimedia system, it is not known if Apple has any plans to implement it in upcoming iPhones. It should be noted that in order for this system to work, all of the devices in the system would require wireless capabilities compatible with Apple’s iPhone.
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