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Remote Control with Programmable Audio Locator

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004475D
Publication Date: 2000-Nov-21
Document File: 2 page(s) / 698K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The remote includes an audio emitter and switch. Internal to the remote is a typical micro-controller with an internal timer. Additionally, the micro-controller is connected to an audio emitter.

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Remote Control with Programmable Audio Locator

The use of remote controls is widely known in combination with a variety of electronic devices, such as televisions and VCRs. Remote controls devised and utilized for the purpose of controlling a television are known to consist basically of familiar, expected and obvious structural configurations and functions, including a myriad of designs encompassed by the crowded prior art that has been developed for the fulfillment of countless objectives and requirements. By way of example, the prior art includes U.S. Pat. No. 5,031,046; U.S. Pat. No. 5,410,326; U.S. Pat. No. Des. 322,610; U.S. Pat. No. 4,728,949; U.S. Pat. No. 4,338,632; U.S. Pat. No. 5,883,680; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,145,720.

As remote control devices are generally small and easily misplaced, it can be appreciated that there exists a need for easily locating a remote control that has been misplaced and cannot be located visually. A new and improved remote control that can emit an audible signal would allow a user to quickly locate a misplaced remote control device. In this regard, the present invention substantially fulfills this need and could be used with any of the remote control devices of the abovementioned prior art.

Figure 1 above shows a typical remote control device. Remote 100 is a conventional remote control device similar to those prior art devices cited above. Remote 100 includes an audio emitter 110 and switch 120. Internal to remote 100 is a typical micro-controller with an internal timer. Additionally, the micro-controller is connected to audio emitter 110.

The internal timer is set to activate audio emitter 110 after a predetermined period of time, for example 48 to 72 hours. The predetermined time period is programmable using remote 100 in combination with conventonal menu options of the corresponding electronic device (i.e, television). Switch 120 is set ON or OFF to enable the internal timer. If enabled, the internal timer is automatically reset when any button on remote 100 is pushed. Therefore, with daily use the timer will continuously be reset and therefore audio emitter 110 is not activated. However, in the event that remote 100 is misplaced the remote is not in use and therefore the timer is not reset within the predetermined time period, thereby allowing the timer to time out if switch 120 is set to the ON position. Upon timeout, the internal micro-controller activates audio emitter 110 to emit an audio signal that can be heard by the user and directs the user to the location of remote 100. The audio signal is controlled in short bursts at predetermined intervals so as to not deplete the battery too quickly. If the user is expecting to suspend regular use of remote 100 for an extended period or time, the user can disable the audio locator by setting switch 120 to the OFF position.