San Francisco: A
patent application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office
Thursday showed that Apple is working on a universal touchscreen
remote capable of controlling multiple devices, shedding lights on
the company's much-anticipated plan on a smart TV product.
The patent, titled "Apparatus and Method to Facilitate Universal
Remote Control" was filed Sep 30, 2011, said that the remote will
be capable of controlling multiple devices including "a
television, a video tape player, a video disk player, stereo, a
home control system or a computer system", reported Xinhua.
"Manufacturers have created so-called universal remote controls,
which can be trained to mimic several remote controls, and can
then control each appliance for which they have been trained.
While universal remote controls attempt to address the problem of
multiple remote controls, these devices are even more complex to
operate, further confusing the user," said the filing.
According to the filing, Apple's universal remote control will
include a touchscreen which functions as the display screen and
the user input mechanism and a discovery mechanism that would
discover available appliances to control.
AppleInsider, a technology news site focusing on Apple, first
discovered the filing. It said that the application is
particularly noteworthy as rumours of a full-fledged Apple TV set
have gained considerable steam since the release of Walter
Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs late last year.
In the book, the late Apple co-founder told his biographer that he
had "cracked" the concept for a TV set with "the simplest user
interface you could imagine".