An upcoming Apple Remote could serve as a ‘universal’ remote control

This graphic shows a “universal” Apple Remote that can control a variety of devices.

Currently, you can use the Apple Remote to control the Apple TV set-top box. However, a newly granted Apple patent hints that future iteration may serve as a “universal remote control” for a variety of devices.

The patent (number US 11949938 B2) is dubbed “Techniques for Authoring Controller Devices.” In the patent Apple notes that many of the entertainment devices (e.g., televisions, digital media players, digital video disc, Blu-ray players, etc.) used in homes utilize remote controls. Other non-entertainment devices such as blinds, lights, garage doors, thermostats, etc., also utilize remote controls. 

However, the amount of remote control devices required to control all of these devices can result in clutter and an overall poor user experience. Apple says that, often, sitting down to watch TV or a movie requires shuffling between several remotes, switching inputs, and powering-on multiple components at the same time. Controllers can be configured to control multiple devices. Therefore, homeowners need to retain several remote devices to control these devices, resulting in clutter and an overall poor user experience.

Apple’s idea is to provide devices, methods, and computer-readable medium for enabling controller devices to control proprietary digital media players, home network accessories, and virtual assistants, providing an overall improved user experience. The techniques disclosed in the patent are designed to “reduce clutter and improve efficiency for home networking because a single controller can control various different accessories.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.