Saturday, October 4, 2014

Apple’s Patent – Next Generation iOS Remote App System

Apple’s Patent
Apple’s patent published recently reveals a next generation iOS remote app system which will be capable of translating the Apple TV’s UI to smaller format iPhone and iPad screens at the time of streaming back the external content such as movie from some of the same devices.

Apple’s patent application, as filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for `Browsing remote content using a native user interface’, specifies what amounts to advanced Apple TV remote control app which interprets media content as well as semantic information in reproducing graphical user interface native to an iPhone or iPad display.

The patent application for next generation remote app was first filed for in March 2013 with credits to Nickolas James Paulson, Thomas Alsina and Lucas C. Newman as its inventors. The proposed iteration, unlike the Current Remote app of Apple, that employs a bespoke UI tailored especially for iPhone or iPad would size down dramatically, an Apple TV’s GUI based on semantic cues that may be sent to the client device from an Apple TV source or a Mac running iTunes.

This method enables a much enhanced user experience which moves beyond the prevailing digital reproduction of remote control hardware.

Full TV Interface/Icon Matrix

The app for instance can display a full TV interface or an icon matrix, remotely, which includes media description, ratings, posters purchasing options etc.

Moreover code for interpreting semantics boards which are sent by the host device can be kept on client board iPhone or the programming could be tapped from an off-sit server like iCloud. With semantics translation kept in the cloud, enables greater flexibility with older devices which are not usually supported by modern app.

Possibilities of two embodiments have been outlined by Apple for remote app, one of which is active and the other passive. The active version enables users to interact with an Apple TV or any other host device in real time such as any selections that are made on the iOS device tend to reflect immediately on the larger television screen.

Active/Passive Operation 

The document deals with active mode but a mention has been made of passive operation whereby a client device stores up user input and pushes the date to the host device when prompted to do so. For instance passive mode enables one user to browse through a host’s media catalog without disturbing other users.

One important feature is that it involves content collected to augment media that is played or streamed by the host Apple TV like a user starting a movie through the iOS device and then leaves the remote app to search for trivia on the web. Whatever information is gathered outside the remote control app can be sent to the host device for display irrespective of it being an overlay, other means of presentation or a sidebar.

Besides the operational enhancements, Apple has also been aware of the client devices that can be paired with an Apple TV through proximity sensor technology with support for iBeacon. With Apple TV software, the updated version 6.1 that had been launched in March, the set top streamer can scan for compatible devices through Bluetooth.

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