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System and Process for Device Programming of Remote Control

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000202099D
Publication Date: 2010-Dec-03
Document File: 3 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

System and process for a remote control unit that can be programmed by the devices it controls.

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System and Process for Device Programming of Remote Control

Disclosed is a system and process for a remote control unit that can be programmed by the devices it controls. Information is passed between a controlled device and the remote control unit using an XML (extensible markup language) format. This programming process allows the remote control unit to be setup without user programming. Furthermore, the process described allows a user to more easily choose which device is being controlled.

Background. Many domestic devices are operated by remote control. This is typical for home entertainment systems - TV (television), Stereo, DVD (digital versatile disk)

player

etc. Many other devices are also controlled remotely (lighting, heating, curtains, alarms, etc.). Households now require many different remote control units for these various devices. There are currently no accepted standards for remote control units, and the process of using all of these devices is becoming increasingly cumbersome.

Known Solution. A "universal remote" can be programmed to operate multiple consumer electronics devices from several different manufacturers. The programming process typically requires the user to look up a numeric ID (identifier) for the device to be controlled (from the instructions or from a web site) and input this ID into the remote. A universal remote will typically provide some number of of "control modes" (TV, DVD, Cable, etc.). Programming can be difficult for some users, although those users can often operate the remote after it has been programmed. The disadvantages of the universal remote are 1) the devices to be controlled must be known and assigned an ID before the universal remote is manufactured,
2) the universal remote must be set to the control mode for a device before it can control that device, and 3) the process of programming the remote can be difficult.

Known Solution. A more advanced solution is the "learning remote". Using the standard remote from the device to be controlled, the user can "teach" the learning remote. The teaching process typically involves pressing a button on the standard remote while it is

pointed at the learning remote. The learning remote receives the IR signal from the standard

remote, and the user assigns it to a button on the learning remote. Thereafter the learning remote can use the stored signal to control the device. This process allows the learning remote to learn unique features of a device, making it possible to control devices that a universal remote cannot. The disadvantages of the learning remote are 1) it requires a functioning standard remote, 2) the learning remote has control modes just like a universal remote, and 3) the process of programming the remote can be difficult and tedious.

An easier and more integrated remote control system will be described, and will be referred to as the "easy remote". There are two aspects of the easy remote that allow it to overcome the disadvant...