Apple eyeing home automation solutions
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Apple eyeing home automation solutions

An Apple patent (number 20120188052) for a system and method for simplified control of electronic devices shows the company is eyeing the home automation market.

For example, per the patent, For example, a method for controlling a variety of electronic devices using another single electronic device may include receiving control information associated with a controllable electronic device via near field communication, determining a control scheme for controlling the controllable electronic device based on the control information, and controlling the controllable electronic device using the determined control scheme. The control information may be received from a near field communication interface of the controllable electronic device or from a radio frequency identification tag associated with the controllable electronic device.

Here's Apple's summary of the invention: "A person may use a wide variety of electronic devices each day, including computers and media players, televisions and other entertainment devices, thermostats and other utility devices, and/or consumer electronics such as digital cameras. Each electronic device may generally be controlled locally or using an associated remote control device. Initiating and establishing control of each device may involve a series of complicated, unintuitive procedures using separate remote controls.

"Certain aspects commensurate in scope with the disclosed embodiments are set forth below. It should be understood that these aspects are presented merely to provide the reader with a brief summary of certain forms the invention might take and that these aspects are not intended to limit the scope of the invention. Indeed, the invention may encompass a variety of aspects that may be set forth below.
By way of example, a method for controlling a variety of electronic devices using another single electronic device may include receiving control information associated with a controllable electronic device via near field communication, determining a control scheme for controlling the controllable electronic device based on the control information, and controlling the controllable electronic device using the determined control scheme. The control information may be received from a near field communication interface of the controllable electronic device or from a radio frequency identification tag associated with the controllable electronic device."

Graphics included with the patent show a variety of electronic devices -- including an Apple TV, iMac, iPods, a cable box and more -- being controlled by an iPhone with NFC [near field communication] features. The inventors are Michael Rosenblatt, Gloria Lin, Sean Anthony Mayo, and Taido Lantz Nakajima.

 
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