Remote control Stories August 27, 2012

LG reveals Optimus Vu II ‘all-in-one remote control’ smartphone with infrared, launches in September for Korea

The Optimus Vu II, or the “all-in-one remote control,” just unveiled for Korea, but Engadget promptly noted the announcement falsely claimed it is the first smartphone to sport infrared. LG dubbed the Optimus Vu II the “the world’s first smartphone using infrared,” and it gave the Android handset a general launch date for “next month.” The device’s tech is built around the QRemote remote control app, which subsequently allows users to manage set-top boxes, appliances, TVs, and even competitors’ electronic products, but the presser did not name additional specs or pricing.

Check it out: Press release (translated

Remote control Stories February 20, 2012

Google is on a roll these days in regards to interesting patent filings. The company filed a patent for Android’s pattern unlock feature in November, and a new filing suggests more unlocking methods with one involving voice recognition and the other based on a two-icon methodology. Today, Patently Apple pointed to another document the search company filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on Sept. 29, 2011.

Being made public only recently, it describes methods and apparatus for a Google TV remote that lets you search for televisions shows, movies, music and other media simply by asking. This sounds a lot like Apple’s Siri voice assistant the rumor-mill speculates could enhance an alleged Apple-branded HD TV set.

The difference, per the publication:

Apple has had a similar feature under Remote for several years now, but it doesn’t relate to live TV as Google’s will. Google’s real competitor on this particular front will come from Samsung who just announced their latest TV remote with voice controls and a touch pad. The race to bring the best next generation TV Remote to market is officially on.

One embodiment of the invention describes a situation where a user searches for the popular sitcom “Seinfeld” simply by asking their Android phone, “When is Seinfeld on?” The phone would parse and send the query up to the Google cloud, beaming down the results to your Google TV set-top box.

GPS positioning could enhance the scope of the invention in interesting ways:

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Remote control Stories November 5, 2011

You have to wonder if someone is playing a a joke on the Verge.  Someone sent in a box cover that purports to hide a 6-inch Android 2.3 tablet that does double time as a remote control for your cable box.  If this isn’t a Punk’d-ing, the device is with cable company testers right now and will be used to control the cable box, GoogleTV be damned.

 The box calls it a “dedicated controller,” but it also seems to show the tablet wirelessly displaying its entire UI on the TV, so we’re guessing it can be used to watch and stream content in addition to serving as a remote control for one of Motorola’s cable boxes. (That would also explain the hardware power and volume buttons next to the display.)

We don’t know much specs-wise, but the box says the design is “optimized for low cost,” so we wouldn’t expect anything high-end inside. It also looks like it says something “OS” in the upper left, so it seems like a fairly custom version of Android. There’s also IR control and RF4CE, which is a ZigBee-based RF control protocol, as well as a high-capacity 4,000mAH battery

Of course “Corvair” is also a car that Chevy built in the early 60s that makes every “worst car ever” list and was the subject of the Ralph Nadar book, Unsafe at Any Speed.  We’re hoping that Motorola’s naming/branding department is playing a joke on us in this case.

Also, as Motorola gets folded into Google, this will likely get folded into GoogleTV, which is to say, cancelled…just like its namesake.

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