A patent awarded to Apple describes how the iPhone or a similar device could be used as a remote control for a futuristic smart-home, controlling entertainment as well as lighting and temperature. The iPhone app could also save specific “scenes” allowing the user to quickly switch from “Study Scene” to “Dinner Scene” or “Relax Scene” by simply tapping a button on your phone.
The new patent, number 8,519,820, is titled “Systems and methods for saving and restoring scenes in a multimedia system,” but clearly extends beyond your home entertainment system. The patent was filed by Alan Cannistraro, an Apple developer who coded the original iTunes Remote app for iOS. Cannistraro’s app is still around, and now works with Apple TV as well, but his new design takes the concept a step further, allowing the user to control everything in their house.
Controlling your entire house from your smartphone sounds great, though other systems are already beating Apple to the punch. AT&T’s Digital Life solution, for example, already lets you control appliances all over your house, both inside and remotely, from a mobile device.