IBM develops “automatic blogging during media viewing” patent
Digging through patent applications can bring up some interesting designs, such as this idea from IBM, filed last year and just now being talked about on blogs.
Realizing that there is still a degree of separation between mainstream home entertainment (TV) and mainstream blogging/social networking (Twitter/Facebook), IBM has come up with an idea to combine the two so that the everyday user can blog or tweet about something they’re watching on TV via a specially crafted remote control unit.
The geekier among you (me included) will probably roll their eyes and suggest that the separation needn’t matter — I can already tweet or blog from my laptop or iPhone while watching TV and it doesn’t matter to me that the devices are distinct. In fact, having tested out accessing basic web services from remote control units, I’d say it can be a pretty painful experience.
In any case, the patent has been filed, and for the less technically inclined in could be a good way to immediately share thoughts on a TV program and see what others think.
The diagram even suggests that, if you’re not actively tweeting or blogging about a program, then the system periodically sends information about what you’re watching anyway. Hopefully there are options to switch that feature off, as I’m not sure I’d want all my viewing habits monitored online.
Another planned feature nicety (though I can imagine it being challenged by copyright holders) is the ability to include a screen capture along with the post.
It’s not as exciting as the Asus Eee wireless keyboard, but then I suppose not everyone is going to want a full-sized keyboard on their lap. Could IBM partner with Sony, which has its own patented ideas for getting user feedback?
You can read the full patent at the US Patent Office, or check out the synopsis and the flowchart below:
“A method, system and apparatus provide for automatic blogging of media viewing using an enhanced remote controller having networking capabilities that support social networking and blogging. The enhanced remote controller, suitable for use while viewing media programming and content, allows a viewer to autoblog about currently experienced media programming in real-time without having to resort to direct interaction with a computer to perform the autoblogging. The enhanced remote controller allows the viewer to both communicate with a blogging server, and thus to a blogging service, as well as to display responses to and from other bloggers with whom the viewer is communicating. These blog communications may be accomplished without the viewer having to leave the broadcast receiver of the television.
What do you think? Blogging and tweeting from your TV remote control, or just stick to PC, netbook and mobile devices?
Andy Merrett is a London-based full-time blogger writing for several Shiny Media technology blogs and various other projects. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.
This is an obvious process to anyone familiar with the art. The application should be denied.