While quite a few sites have been reporting that Apple has patented the design for a traditionally PlayStation like video game controller, it looks like that’s not exactly true.
In reality, Apple has been investigating turning other devices, like the iPhone and iPad into controllers for systems like Apple TV – in a similar fashion to Microsoft’s SmartGlass software.
In the patent Apple addresses the issue of needing a different controller for each bit of hardware: “A person may use a wide variety of electronic devices each day [but] initiating and establishing control of each device may involve a series of complicated unintuitive procedures using separate remote controls.” The fruity firm’s answer to this problem, is by adding a radio-frequency ID chip to each phone and tablet, thereby allowing them to connect up with other RFID enabled devices with a simple tap and letting iPhone users control their TV or a variety of other products with the same device.
While the game controller idea was perhaps the most picked up on by the media, it’s just one of many applications for this sort of system. How about future smart fridges providing a stock list that you can check on your phone and take notes on what to buy next time you’re shopping? Or connecting to a lighting system for your house.
Of course the games option is there, with Apple suggesting that you could either use the iPhone as a virtual controller, or connect a universal – more traditional – controller to the handset and thereby connect through the smartphone, to games enabled devices like the Apple TV.
KitGuru Says: Universal controller for each console? Sounds like a money saver for the consumer.