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Publication Date: 2004-Mar-30

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database

Related People

Mark G. Mears Timothy L. Turner Robert J. Giger


In this article, we propose several methods to eliminate dedicated power button(s) in a remote control, so that more buttons for controlling new functions of a device, such as a television, can be added to the remote control. Remote controls are used to control electronic devices such as televisions, videocassette recorders, digital versatile disc players, stereos, digital recorders, cable boxes, and camcorders. Most remote controls are wireless (using, for example, IR or RF signals), allowing a user to control the desired electronic device from almost anywhere in a room without having to be in physical contact with the electronic device. Television remote controls normallly include device mode buttons, such as TV, VCR, and CABLE BOX, for changing the mode of the remote controls to control a corresponding device. Some television remote controls also include a single power button for each controlled device. For example, if there is a VCR mode button, there is also a dedicated power button for turning on/off a VCR. In this example, after the VCR mode button has been pressed, if the VCR power button is pressed, a television remote control sends a power remote control command in a format corresponding to the controlled VCR. However, multiple power toggle keys create clutter on the remote controls, reducing space that may be used for new control functions to control the ever-increasing capabilities, functionalities, and complexity of the electronic devices to be controlled. To reduce the number of buttons, most television remote controls include only a single power button. When the power button is pressed, the remote control sends a remote power control command in a format correponding to the selected device. However, this type of remote controls still require a dedicated power button. In order to eliminate the dedicated power button, we propose using a device mode button as a power button. In this proposal, a device mode button "rotates" sending different commands on consecutive preses. For example, a first press sends a POWER ON remote control signal to the corresponding device, and a second press sends a POWER OFF remote control signal. Each time the device mode is changed, it would send a POWER ON remote control signal, which would not be harmful even if the device was on already.