Small device brings home entertainment remotes to smartphone
Any modern living room is certain to have a mass of remotes for the various electronics the family gathers around. The television, surround sound, and even gaming consoles often have them for the various functions users need to access from the comfort of a couch. But what does a family do when they've had enough of the remotes taking up their tables and falling into couch folds? One solution might bethe Blumoo from Flyover Innovations. But what does the Blumoo do, exactly?
Supports 'thousands' of devices
Accessory maker Satechi has launched a new Universal Remote dongle. The unit plugs into the headphone jack of any recent iOS device, and in combination with a dedicated app can be used to control any number of electronics with infrared sensors, including TVs and DVRs. Satechi claims that "thousands" of devices are supported; if one isn't, a learning mode can be used to associate commands.
Would remove 'clutter' from regular remotes
A newly-published patent application, originally submitted in September, hints at some of what Apple might have planned for its rumored TV set. The filing is titled Apparatus and Method to Facilitate Universal Remote Control, and complains that most remotes need a sea of buttons to control all functions. "The controls that are not normally used clutter the remote control and can cause confusion to the user when trying to locate a seldom-used feature," Apple writes.
Macs, iPads, iPods see discounts
A leaked pamphlet shows the some of discounts Apple is planning to offer for this year's Black Friday sale, according to 9to5Mac. In terms of computers, the company is taking $101 off the iMac, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. iPad 2 discounts range from $41 to $61, depending on storage capacity, and a similar philosophy applies to the iPod touch, which is getting between $21 and $41 off. Both the 8 and 16GB iPod nanos are $11 chepaer.
Sony, Panasonic, Samsung among supporters
Rental outfit Netflix has announced a development effort that will see a Netflix One-Click button placed on remotes for Internet-enabled TVs and Blu-ray players. The button will offer direct access to the company's streaming service, bypassing other menu screens. Initial remotes with the button are expected in the spring.
iAds could be linked to localized marketing
A pair of patent applications have been newly published by the USPTO, showing potential plans for the Apple TV, as well as iAd. For the former product, Apple is suggesting a way by which the set-top could take commands from remotes by other manufacturers, rather than just the stock Apple one. An essential part of the scheme would involve a "Learn Remote" menu option, through which people could train an Apple TV to link commands with a remote's unique signals.
Eliminates need for separate dock
ThinkFlood has announced the RedEye mini, a different approach to the company's remote control system. In combination with an iPhone app, RedEye gear can be used to control a variety of AV hardware including TVs, receivers and disc players. The app supports customized layouts, and some multi-touch and accelerometer functions.
Suggets updated Apple TV
A newly-published patent application may suggest that Apple has been seriously contemplating a major upgrade of the Apple TV. Originally submitted on May 1st of last year, the filing depicts a remote specifically interacting with an updated Apple TV interface. The interface would support commands from a new remote, capable of recognizing motion gestures in addition to regular button presses.
Mimics iPod nano design
Alongside new iMacs, MacBooks and other major hardware releases, Apple has quietly introduced a new system remote. The device is primarily meant for Macs, allowing users to bring up the Front Row interface for music, photo, video and DVD playback. It can also be used in a limited fashion with iPods and iPhones, controlling music, slideshows and video.
Apple 3D remote patent
Apple has invested serious attention in the possibility of a 3D motion-control remote for the Apple TV, a newly-published patent application reveals. Backing up a later filing, the application once again describes a remote which would let users navigate an interface by pointing to objects, as well as making specific gestures. The remote would communicate with an Apple TV using IR, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
Apple 3D remote patent
An Apple patent application, just published by the US Patent and Trademark Office, depicts a new 3D remote technology. Similar in basic concept to the controller for Nintendo's Wii console, the remote would have a photosensor, accelerometer or gyroscope, and detect absolute and/or relative position to an image. Distinguishing it would be the ability to zoom in on part of an image at will by pushing a button.
USBfever stand, IR remote
Aside from its PPS2, USBfever has added two other products to its lineup for Apple portables. The first of these is an infrared remote (right), which operates at distances of up to 32.8 feet, and controls basic iPhone/iPod functions such as play/pause, skipping forward and backward, and adjusting volume. To work, users must plug the remote's included dongle into a player's dock connector; supported devices include everything from the third generation iPod onwards, with the exception of Shuffles and the first-generation Nano. The remote package costs $20.