The Beeb’s Research & Development division has been hard at work on a new “Universal Control” system which essentially would bring all smart devices under rule of one gadget – meaning, most importantly, that you will no longer need to put down your smartphone to grab the telly box!
BBC has developed a new application programming interface that allows gadgets such as TV, laptop and, as used in recent tests – a toy Dalek! Using a central control hub in the form of a set top box, a device can be designated as the Universal Control and this one device will synch to all others under our home Wi-Fi network, obtaining the necessary information and access to act as an ”emissary”.
This in a lesser form has been seen before and it’s not unheard of to use your mobile to turn the telly on. But this has always been a two-way deal between hardware and hardware, such as Samsung’s Smart TV range and Samsung Galaxy smartphones. What BBC is proposing in a purely software-based application gives complete multi-point access and control to the one chosen gadget, uniting all smart devices within range, regardless of make or model. We’re talking absolute control – Now that title starts to make a bit more sense.
As well as replacing the obsolete remote, the Beeb has been testing the potential for employing the Universal Control for interactive purposes, experimenting with viewer to quiz show interactivity and that aforementioned Dalek toy being used to act out “real-life” scenes on a Doctor Who episode.
BBC’s Research and Development website reveals more about the Universal Control.