Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)

These techniques allow for the activation and the recommendation of scenes in a multimedia system. These methods can be utilized to document the state of components within an multimedia system and save it in the form of a scene. Once the scene has been saved, the scene is able to be activated at a later time. A controller device for recommending scenes by comparing the current state with states of components in saved scenes is also included. The controller can detect if a media player is present in a current scene, and then activate a specific scene without playing the content. When the selected scene is activated, the media in that scene will be switched, and the media in that scene can then be played.

This is a reference to electronic portable devices, and specifically, to methods and systems for saving and restoring scenes within an audio-visual system. As used herein, a scene includes the states of any or all components of the multimedia system.States of components that can be recorded in a single scene could include, for instance, the states of lights (e.g., whether they are turned on or off and their brightness levels) as well as the state of the speakers (e.g., volume level and balance) as well as the media playing through a media playback software or any metadata that is related to the media playing or in other appropriate states.

Remote controls, like dedicated remote controls for controlling devices within a multimedia system are referred to as. The multimedia system can comprise consumer electronics like TVs, set-top boxes as well as stereo receivers. It could also comprise devices like shades for windows, lights and fireplaces. In addition universal remote controls are developed to work with a wide variety of gadgets, meaning that a single universal remote control can be used to control more thanone device. A universal remote control could be used to control the set-top box and a TV. These remote controls connect to devices using infrared signals.

To make a standard remote control function with multiple devices, users must first identify the devices in their media system. It is possible to select a TV, DVD player or stereo receiver. Even though traditional remote controls are able to save or restore previously defined scenes (e.g. “watch TV,”” “watch DVD,” or “play games”) however, the user will have to spend some time manually defining the specific scene (e.g. by defining which inputs to use, etc. ).

Furthermore, in most conventional remotes, users requires a computer to create a scene. In certain situations it is possible that a user may wish to to define a scene without being restricted to using computers. The user might adjust the lighting and sound of a scene while watching a horror movie. It is possible for the viewer to save the state of their devices, so that they can restore them when they watch another horror movie. This can be done immediately without having to utilize computers.

The traditional remote controls also be patient for the user to activate a scene, instead of suggesting scenes based on past activities or external parameters (e.g. the type of the media that is being played or when it is played, the time of day or special events). A standard remote control may not recognize that a person is watching a horror film and suggest a save scene specially designed to be suitable for the particular genre.

In light of the above it would be beneficial to provide systems and methods that let users back up and save scenes in an audio-visual system with only minimal configuration. It would also be beneficial to suggest suitablerecommended scenes based on states of the devices involved in the scene and the patterns of usage.

In the disclosure the disclosure, a portable electronic gadget and a method of working are described. The device can back up and save scenes stored on a multimedia system that has very little configuration. The device portable may also give suggestions of suitable scenes to the user.

Certain embodiments permit the portable electronic device to discover components of a multimedia system which can be controlled. Servers on each component may send one or more identifiers through the portable electronic device. After receiving the identifiers, the portable electronic device is able to establish a connection with the components.

Certain embodiments permit the device to receive states from the component following it has established communications. States can include software and/or hardware settings of the components such as, for example the current volume setting, the current playback speed for a media item, or the current media playing. In response to receiving the states, the portable electronic device can provide controls to a user. The electronic device portable can communicate commands for remote control to the component in response to the user managing the state of a component.

In certain embodiments, the handheld electronic device (e.g. or a controller device) can manage a variety of saved scenes. In this case, the plurality of saved scenes include metadata that identifies specific usage patterns for the various saved scenes. In addition the controller device may identify a current state and/or identify one or more scenes that are recommended from the plurality of saved scenes based , at a minimum, on comparing the current status with the respective patterns of usage. The controller device could show one or more suggested scenes to users via their interface. The controller device may be notified to activate a selected scene of the one or more scenes recommended. The controller device might also be able of activating the selected scene when it is discovered that the current scene contains media content. Further, in some cases the controller device may send instructions to switch from playing the media content in the scene currently playing to playing another media content from the chosen scene.

In certain embodiments the current state is the current time of day, and the corresponding patterns of usage indicate the specific times of day during which the various saved scenes are active. Furthermore, the current time of day includes a time-span of times that is present during the day. When the controller device is activated it can be determined if the additional media content for the selected scene is playing. In some cases, activating the scene does not mean that the scene’s additional media content is being played. In some instances the controller device might provide the option of switching from the current scene’s media content to other media. In some cases the instructions for switching between playing the content of the current scene to playing another media content of the chosen scene are communicated by receiving, on the user interface of the controller device an option to switch.

According to the disclosed disclosure the disclosed techniques, systems, and a computer-readable medium that allows users to save and restore scenes within the multimedia system. These methods, systems and computer-readable media may include an electronic device that is portable, for example, controllers, that automatically tracks the current state of the components in the multimedia system.

Additionally, there is an instrument controller that provides users with suggested scenes based on states of components and usage patterns.

Click here to view the patent on USPTO website.


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