Browse Prior Art Database

802.11b Connected Remote Control with Programmable Illuminated Buttons

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022208D
Publication Date: 2004-Mar-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Robert Allan Unger: INVENTOR

Abstract

A remote control for use in in-home server AV systems that uses 802.11b to communicate with the server. The buttons include programmable illuminations to provide visual queues as to changing functions.

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         Sony Corporation

         Sony Electronics Inc.

         IPD Case #50R5000

Title:

802.11b Connected Remote Control with Programmable Illuminated Buttons

Abstract:

A remote control for use in in-home server AV systems that uses 802.11b to communicate with the server. The buttons include programmable illuminations to provide visual queues as to changing functions.

Inventor:

Robert Allan Unger

Description of the Invention:

1.      Background

As audio visual technology evolves there is a trend to use networks to distribute content. The traditional paradigm of a television being a simple self contained independent box pulling content from the air is being replaced by cable feeds, detached controls, and attached media sources such as video tape and DVD. Usually the most complete complex is located in the living room with subsets duplicated in other rooms of the house.

As the number of devices in the complex increases (TV, VCR, DVD, etc.), so does the number of remote controls required for operation. This has precipitated combination and universal remotes that struggle to balance the need for control with ergonomic factors required for ease of use.

Typical homes have more than one location for TV watching. This usually involves a hand-me­down process where the old equipment (TV, VCR, etc.) is moved to the bedroom when a more modern unit is purchased for the living room. This ripples the equipment from room to room. Often there is a desire to have many living room capabilities duplicated in the bedroom, but there is a lack of capital for the required purchases.

This desire for multiple instances of a complete system without the corresponding expense leads to the concept of a home server delivering content to networked clients. With this architecture, content sources (antenna tuners, cable boxes, VCRs, DVD players, etc.) are located in one place and the displays distributed throughout the house. Wired/wireless networks are used to distribute the content.

Users must be provided with a method for selecting content and other control functions. One method is to use a traditional infrared remote sensed by the device and having the commands relayed back to the server. The viability of a single remote diminishes as the number of controllable options increases.

2.      Solution Overview

The proposed solution is a wireless remote control that has the function of the buttons change depending upon the device or media type being controlled. The physical buttons will take on new labels dynamically to correspond with their function. Communication between the remote and the home server will use the same wireless technology as being used by the network in general. Typically this will be 802.11 or one of its derivatives.

3.      Features

The remote will have many features to maximize capabilities and user ergonomics.

·         Wireless communication to server

·         Downloadable legends for buttons

·         Button illumination with inactivity fadeout

·         Audible feedback for button operation

·         Tactile feedback for b...