Apple patent applications detail iPhone as smart remote control, DIY silent disco device

“In a patent published today, Apple explores the potential of the iPhone to act as an intelligent remote with the kind of functionality typically associated with high-end home automation setups,” Ben Lovejoy reports for 9to5Mac. “The idea is based around the concept of ‘scenes’. Having a romantic night in with your partner? You probably want the lights dimmed, the music on softly, the TV off. Movie night? The big-screen on, Apple TV selected as the source, surround-sound speakers selected, volume up higher – and so on. Smart remotes have existed for many years, and there’s of course nothing new about using an iPhone as a remote, but it’s another sign that Apple has big plans for the living-room.”

“In an unrelated patent, Apple is also exploring a kind of ‘silent disco plus,'” Lovejoy reports. “Silent discos, if you haven’t seen them, are where a nightclub issues visitors with infra-red or wifi headphones and broadcasts the music to them. The visitors are all dancing away to the same track, but no-one else hears the music.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. The silent disco concept is interesting, but I think that the name is somewhat misleading.

    The patent actually appears to cover something akin to AirPlay, where one person acts as the DJ and selects the music on their IOS device, while others then hear that choice on their own IOS device, which may be connected by various means from WiFi to 4G.

    The ability to instigate impromptu groups listening to the same thing sounds like it could become a surprise success. Think of situations like mini-broadcasting around a university campus, where people would listen to the musical choices of somebody who is known for their interesting taste in music.

  2. “Silent discos”? That sounds like heaven. I’ve never been able to spend time in clubs or anywhere indoors with loud music blasting, because I literally “can’t hear myself think”, which makes me feel disorganized and uncomfortable, like someone is jamming my brain. I have to leave or suffer something akin to a panic attack. To be able to choose when I hear the music, and the volume? Wow that would be awesome.


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