Feeds

Just what you needed: A cell phone with a remote control. No, really

Got an amazingly huge coat with pockets too far away?

Seven Steps to Software Security

Bluetooth has achieved its dream of being in a remote control, sadly it’s a remote for a mobile phone and not a TV, but surely a step in the right direction.

The keyring-sized LG One Key can be used to find one's Optimus VU2 handset, fire up the camera for self-portraits and even control music playback, though with only one button the control is obviously limited. More importantly, though, it can run for years on a button cell battery and shows how Bluetooth Low Energy can be used for remote controls.

Phone and remote control together

Bluetooth has always wanted to be in a TV remote control, but never made it. Bluetooth chips still cost a lot more than Infrared LEDs (which are astonishingly cheap) and better software has removed the problems of bounce (where a key press is interpreted twice) and working in sunlight which were never very serious anyway, making it impossible to justify the higher cost of Bluetooth which would also chew through the batteries.

The latter problem disappears with Bluetooth Low Energy, part of the Bluetooth 4 specification, and Bluetooth LE chips are turning up in running shoes and wrist watches, but they still can't grab that elusive spot in the ubiquitous TV remote.

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group is pinning its hopes on active 3D specs. The Bluetooth SIG has been working with TV manufacturers to design a standard specification - so that specs from one TV will work with another, but (more importantly) that will mean actually getting Bluetooth into the TV - which would hugely improve the prospects for a Bluetooth remote control.

But it's not alone in coveting the top of the coffee table - lurking on the sidelines is Ozmo Devices, which has been trying to get Wi-Fi built into computer mice for years, and failing because every computer has Bluetooth these days. But last week Ozmo announced that Roku would be using a Wi-Fi Direct remote to control its Roku Streaming Stick, which sits in the HDMI socket and therefore lacks line-of-sight to the viewer. Lots of TVs have Wi-Fi these days, making Wi-Fi Direct an easier sell.

Bluetooth Low Energy has lower power consumption than Wi-Fi Direct, but the two are competing for the same market, and while LG's One Key is pretty and shows off what CSR's Bluetooth chips can do, it's not the TV remote the SIG is hoping for. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.