Universal debuts next-gen Blu-ray interactivity with integrated apps for Apple iPhone iPod touch

Universal Studios Home Entertainment announced today the launch of an array of enhanced iPhone and iPod touch-enabled features and social web-based offerings with the release of upcoming titles Bruno, Funny People, 9, American Pie Presents: The Book of Love, Public Enemies, and Inglourious Basterds all available this holiday season. These innovations include the pocket BLU app, which offers iPhone and iPod users touch further enhancements to the Blu-ray experience, and social BLU, which offers Blu-ray users more ways to interact with their Facebook and Twitter networks through an Internet-connected Blu-ray player. Additionally, USHE will unveil an all-new redesign of its BD-Live Center on Funny People, which makes the dynamic content on the multimedia portal easier to access, more engaging, and easier to use. On future releases, Universal will deliver even more innovative, exciting features based on these platforms, making Blu-ray discs more simple, fun, and sharable than ever before.

“These new features represent the latest step in Universal’s continuing effort to deliver an extraordinary home entertainment experience to consumers,” said Craig Kornblau, President of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, in the press release. “By bridging Blu-ray’s vast capabilities with the Internet, iPhone, iPod touch and some of the hugely popular social networking platforms, we are effectively taking the Blu-ray experience to the next level, offering consumers the opportunity to easily integrate their favorite films into those activities and devices that have become part of their everyday lifestyle.”

pocket BLU app
USHE’s pocket BLU app makes its debut this holiday season for the iPhone and iPod touch on the Blu-ray editions of Bruno (November 17), Funny People (November 24), Public Enemies (December 8), Inglourious Basterds (December 15), American Pie Presents: The Book of Love (December 22) and 9 (December 29). The app uses the device’s Wi-Fi connection to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray player and offers the following features:

• Advanced Remote Control: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live functions with ease.
• Video Timeline: By turning the phone to landscape mode, users will bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the movie.
• Mobile-To-Go: Users can unlock a selection of exclusive bonus content with their Blu-ray discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy exclusive content on the go, anytime, anywhere.
• Browse Titles: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray Hi-Def. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.
• Pop-Up Keyboard: Enter data into a Blu-ray player with this easy and intuitive keyboard that will facilitate such Blu-ray features as chatting with friends and sending messages.

pocket BLU is an extendable platform that will allow Universal Studios Home Entertainment to introduce even more new and groundbreaking mobile features on additional devices and platforms in the very near future. The pocket BLU app is available for free from the App Store on iPhone and iPod touch at http://www.itunes.com/appstore.

social BLU
The American Pie Presents: The Book of Love release also will mark the integration of Blu-ray content and social networking applications. This newly developed interactive technology allows users to easily sign on with their Facebook and Twitter login information and enjoy a variety of connected Blu-ray features with their friends. Users can control status updates from their Blu-ray player, the UniversalHiDef.com website, or within pocketBlu.

As part of the newly developed interactive social BLU technology, users can update their Facebook and Twitter profile statuses via BD-Live. With the click of a button, users can rate the movie, send messages and on future releases will be able to share film-related user generated content with their friends via their social networking pages. social BLU opens up an entire world of social networking possibilities.

BD-Live Center Update
The newly redesigned Universal BD-Live Center as seen first on Funny People will offer an easy, fun and interactive experience directly from an Internet-connected Blu-ray player. By clicking on “What’s New,” users can check out the latest releases coming to Blu-ray and theaters, along with exciting BD-Live features. Additionally, when they visit the new “Content Center,” users will intuitively find their favorite previews, trailers and more. Meanwhile, the previously-launched ticker and video rotation automatically bring updated content directly to the viewer. Login and registration aren’t required unless the user wants to access select community features, so browsing BD-Live is easier than ever. Best of all, everything is designed for simple, one-click navigation, making BD-Live perfectly optimized for surfing content with a remote control.

Source: Universal Studios Home Entertainment


  1. Please, help me making apple to put a “Instant off” or “Cancel” button on the iPhone SMS application.

    I have sent so many SMS messages to the wrong person because when I realize I am sending it to the wrong person, I can not cancel it (the reset does not happens that fast).

    How can any one cancel a SMS message once you hit “SEND”?
    I know it is stupid but it just happens.

  2. @ Troy: Sorry Troy, Apple aren’t Microsoft and they’re not going to act like them á la the Windows 7 ads – “I told Apple to add a ‘don’t send’ button to the iPhone and what d’ya know – they added one”
    Never gonna happen…

  3. more fkn marketing – little or no value added – way to go universal. Now on FB i can twitter my friends about what a mediocre movie i saw in HD last night and now – I BECOME A MARKETER FOR UNIVERSAL – great plan – NOT!
    Jus gimme a straight movie on bluray universal – no previews, attractions – features – reviews — it waste like 15 extra minutes of my life just to see what i paid for. Oh yeah – how about making some good movies while your at it.

  4. The article above, which I admit I only skimmed sort of resembles the long and boring legal ramblings that is the Blu-ray bag of hurt described by Steve Jobs.

    The real benefits of this new feature is to line the pockets of those who would leech off Apple’s success.

  5. Apple should work with these guys and have them build in an interface from the Blue-ray drive to iTunes connected on the same network, to transfer Digital Copies from the BD Player to iTunes in stead of supplying a separate DVD disk with the digital copy, they can still use the license key to confirm the 1 copy rule using iTunes. This could work similar to purchasing a movie on Apple TV and transferring it to iTunes.

  6. Troy,
    I don’t think any cell phone can do that.

    On a separate note – the worst FUD against the iPhone that I have ever heard was, “Did you know that if you send a text message that contains just one letter, like “K”, it counts as a text message?”

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