An Apple patent application from December of 2005, recently discovered online, describes a way to use Wi-Fi-enabled multimedia devices, such as the iPod, as a wireless remote control. In a section of the application titled “Summary of the Invention,” it states, “A portable multimedia player (such as the iPod.TM. manufactured by Apple Computer, Inc. of Cupertino, Calif.) is used to wirelessly access and control a media server (such as a personal computer running iTunes software) that is streaming digital media by way of a wireless interface to a media unit (such as a stereo/speakers in the case of streaming digital audio).” The patent also goes on to specifically name Apple’s Airport Express as a wireless interface, but makes no mention of the then-unannounced Apple TV, which in many ways circumvents the system described in this patent.
Charles Starrett was a senior editor at iLounge. He's been covering the iPod, iPhone, and iPad since their inception. He has written numerous articles and reviews, and his work has been featured in multiple publications.