Rich interactive television experiences have been market tested and attempted on broader scales by North America’s telecom and software giants since the mid-1980s. Massive consumer adoption of broadband internet services supplanted those early iTV implementations, and by the mid-2000s a new breed of iTV began to emerge from new entrants like Apple and Google, however they lacked the interactive spark needed to grab the mainstream consumer’s attention as did their forebears such as MSN TV (formerly WebTV). The challenge has been bridging the gap of consumer behavior between the passive lean-back TV viewing experience and the interactive engagement people have with PCs and now connected tablets and mobile devices.
In the late-2000s iTVtech’s founder visited a major consumer electronics retailer to research the latest iTV offerings. He was struck by the similarities to the earlier iTV attempts, and then studied the high-end Universal Remote Controls, but didn’t see any breakthroughs. Tablets and smartphones were all the rage then, as were motion sensing interfaces for gaming consoles. That day marked the origin of the concept for the Remote TelePointerTM, a system for merging the hardware platforms of common smartphones and tablets with motion and gesture sensing to add pointer-curser functionality to an easy-to-use universal remote control for lean-back interactive television.
USPTO and PCT patent applications were filed in 2011 and 2012 on a ‘Method & System – For User Interface for Interactive Devices Using a Mobile Device’, kicking off commercialization of the Remote TelePointer experience.