Verizon Turning Wearable Computers Into TV Remotes

Verizon is one first pay TV distributors to detail how it may be able to replace traditional remote controls with wearable computers, including head-mounted displays such as virtual reality goggles.

“Unfortunately, because of the complexity of many hand-held remote control devices, it is often cumbersome, time consuming, and/or difficult for users to interact with applications executed by media content processing devices in this manner,” Verizon states in a patent application published on Thursday.

Massachusetts-based inventor Fred Scheer is named as inventor on the patent application, titled, “Methods and systems for facilitating remote control by wearable computer system of an application being executed by a content processing device.”

Abstract: An exemplary method includes a remote control management system detecting that a user wearing a wearable computer system that includes an optical head-mounted display is looking through the optical head-mounted display at a display screen associated with a media content processing device, determining, in response to the detecting, that the media content processing device is executing an application that is controllable by the wearable computer system, determining that the user is authorized to interact with the application being executed by the media content processing device, and establishing, in response to the determining that the media content processing device is executing the application and the determining that the user is authorized to interact with the application, a remote control session between the wearable computer system and the application. Corresponding systems and methods are also described.

Patent Application

Claims:
1. A method comprising: detecting, by a remote control management system, that a user wearing a wearable computer system that includes an optical head-mounted display is looking through the optical head-mounted display at a display screen associated with a media content processing device; determining, by the remote control management system in response to the detecting that the user is looking through the optical head-mounted display at the display screen, that the media content processing device is executing an application that is controllable by the wearable computer system; determining, by the remote control management system, that the user is authorized to interact with the application being executed by the media content processing device; and establishing, by the remote control management system in response to the determining that the media content processing device is executing the application and the determining that the user is authorized to interact with the application, a remote control session between the wearable computer system and the application.

2. The method of claim 1, further comprising visually distinguishing, by the remote control management system subsequent to the establishing of the remote control session between the wearable computer system and the application, a view of the display screen within the optical head-mounted display to indicate to the user that the remote control session between the wearable computer system and the application has been established.

3. The method of claim 1, further comprising visually distinguishing, by the remote control management system during the establishing of the remote control session between the wearable computer system and the application, a view of the display screen within the optical head-mounted display to indicate to the user that the remote control session between the wearable computer system and the application is being established.

4. The method of claim 1, further comprising: detecting, by the remote control management system during the remote control session, an action performed by the user; and providing, by the remote control management system in response to the action, a remote control command corresponding to the action to the application.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the action comprises at least one of an eye movement performed by the user, a head movement performed by the user, a touch pad gesture performed by the user, and a voice command spoken by the user.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the detecting that the user is looking through the optical head-mounted display at the display screen comprises using an object recognition service to determine that the user looks through the optical head-mounted display at the display screen for an uninterrupted predetermined amount of time.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the determining that the media content processing device is executing the application that is controllable by the wearable computer system comprises determining that the media content processing device is executing an application that corresponds to a remote control application being executed by the wearable computer system while the user is looking through the optical head-mounted display at the display screen.

8. The method of claim 1, wherein the determining that the user is authorized to interact with the application being executed by the media content processing device comprises determining that the user is located within a geographic area pre-designated as being associated with the user.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein the determining that the user is located within the geographic area pre-designated as being associated with the user comprises: detecting global positioning service (“GPS”) coordinates of the user while the user is looking through the optical head-mounted display at the display screen; and determining that the GPS coordinates are located within the geographic area.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein the determining that the user is authorized to interact with the application being executed by the media content processing device comprises determining that the wearable computer system and the media content processing device are both connected to a local area network linked to the user.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein the determining that the user is authorized to interact with the application being executed by the media content processing device comprises: detecting an identifier associated with the media content processing device; and determining that the identifier is paired with a user profile of the user.

12. The method of claim 1, wherein the establishing of the remote control session between the wearable computer system and the application comprises: using a discovery protocol to set up a bi-directional communication channel between the wearable computer system and the application by way of a local area network; facilitating transmission of a remote control session request message that includes authorization credentials from the wearable computer system to the application by way of the bi-directional communication channel; and facilitating transmission of a confirmation response from the application to the wearable computer system by way of the bi-directional communication channel, the confirmation response generated by the application in response to the application validating the authorization credentials.

13. The method of claim 1, wherein the application is associated with a media service.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the method further comprises: detecting, by the remote control management system, that the user is looking through the optical head-mounted display at a displayed end of a media content offering list associated with the media service and displayed on the display screen, the media content offering list comprising a list of entries representative of media content instances available by way of the media service; and providing, by the remote control management system in response to the detecting that the user is looking through the optical head-mounted display at the displayed end of the media content offering list, a remote control command to the application for the application to scroll the media content offering list within the display screen.

15. The method of claim 13, wherein the method further comprises: detecting, by the remote control management system, that the user is looking through the optical head-mounted display for a predetermined amount of time at an entry representative of a media content instance available by way of the media service; and providing, by the remote control management system in response to the detecting that the user is looking through the optical head-mounted display for the predetermined amount of time at the entry representative of the media content instance, a remote control command to the application for the application to begin presenting the media content instance.

16. The method of claim 1, embodied as computer-executable instructions on at least one non-transitory computer-readable medium.

17. A method comprising: determining, by a wearable computer system worn by a user, that the user is located within a geographic area pre-designated as being associated with the user; detecting, by the wearable computer system while the user is located within the geographic area, that the user is looking through an optical head-mounted display associated with the wearable computer system at a display screen associated with a media content processing device; determining, by the wearable computer system in response to the detecting that the user is looking through the optical head-mounted display at the display screen, that the media content processing device is executing an application that is controllable by the wearable computer system; using, by the wearable computer system, a discovery protocol to set up a bi-directional communication channel between the wearable computer system and the application; transmitting, by the wearable computer system, a remote control session request message that includes authorization credentials to the application by way of the bi-directional communication channel; receiving, by the wearable computer system, a confirmation response from the application in response to the application validating the authorization credentials; notifying, by the wearable computer system in response to the receiving of the confirmation response, the user that a remote control session between the wearable computer system and the application has been successfully established.

18. The method of claim 17, embodied as computer-executable instructions on at least one non-transitory computer-readable medium.

19. A system comprising: at least one computing device that: detects that a user wearing a wearable computer system that includes an optical head-mounted display is looking through the optical head-mounted display at a display screen associated with a media content processing device; determines, in response to the detecting that the user is looking through the optical head-mounted display at the display screen, that the media content processing device is executing an application that is controllable by the wearable computer system; determines that the user is authorized to interact with the application being executed by the media content processing device; and establishes, in response to the determination that the media content processing device is executing the application and the determination that the user is authorized to interact with the application, a remote control session between the wearable computer system and the application.

20. The system of claim 19, wherein the at least one computing device: detects, during the remote control session, an action performed by the user; and provides, in response to the action, a remote control command corresponding to the action to the application.

21. The system of claim 19, wherein the at least one computing device visually distinguishes, subsequent to the establishment of the remote control session between the wearable computer system and the application, a view of the display screen within the optical head-mounted display to indicate to the user that the remote control session between the wearable computer system and the application has been established.

22. The system of claim 19, wherein the at least one computing device visually distinguishes, during the establishment of the remote control session between the wearable computer system and the application, a view of the display screen within the optical head-mounted display to indicate to the user that the remote control session between the wearable computer system and the application is being established.