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Quirky Submission #1
Why can’t I control a TV with my phone?

While at the home depot this week I stumbled across a line of products called “Quirky” that seemed to cover the home automation space. I’ve become pretty big on home automation as of late, between the Nest Learning Thermostat, the WeMo line of products and most recently the KEVO door entry system.

The quirky line seemed to overlap with the others a bit, mostly with the WeMo products I have. But there was something well, Quirky about them. One product was a power strip that could be controlled with your phone. Makes sense. Another was of all things, a piggy bank that could report to your through your smart phone how much money was inside.

I learned on their website why there was little rhyme or reason to the products being marketed. They build their product line based off user suggestions. Once an idea is listed, it’s up to the broader internet community to vote on those ideas that are good enough to move forward in the R&D process. 30 minutes later, I’ve added my own idea.

Bluetooth TV IR Transmitter – Quirky

Storyboard for the bluetooth ir transmitter.

There are all kinds of ways you can find a show to watch. You can remember when your show is that you want to watch, or you can flip to the print listings (if you still get those), you can switch to the channel guide on the TV, you can flip through every TV channel 4 times until you find something you like or you can use your smart phone to browse through listings on an app.

When you use an app on your smart phone or tablet to find a show, you still have to put your phone back down and find the right remote to use to change the channel, or you can try to use your manufacturers proprietary smart phone app to change the channel. I thought technology was supposed to make things easier for a user, not just give you one more gadget to manage?

The bluetooth (or wifi) IR (infrared) transmitter would connect your smart phone to any TV, DVD or Blueray player on the market. The phone would contain a custom app with TV listings, that you could use to find the show you want to watch then either turn the TV on and flip directly to that channel or schedule the TV to come on when they show is about to start.

Want to watch a DVD? The device could turn your DVD player on for you, and switch your TV automatically to the right input so you don’t have to fumble with selecting the right input on your own.

Do you have a habit of falling asleep with the TV on? Programatically shut everything off at a set time to save power. The app could send you a notification to the phone 10 minutes before the unit shuts off just to make sure you aren’t really up late watching.

Ideally the unit would be small. Set it up on an end table, a book shelf, or some other out of the way place with a direct line of site to your devices. Setup multiple devices in your home and control your family room, man cave and bedroom devices all though the same app as well.

Like the idea? VOTE for this idea through January 13th, 2014.

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I am a certified usability analyst, user experience & graphic designer, and information architect with web & .net development experience based in Cleveland, Ohio.

Copyright 1996 - 2014

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