Remotes suck–Apple to the rescue?

by filip 23. July 2012 23:08

I just got a Nexus 7 and it pretty much is inferior to an iPad in every sense expect for when watching TV. It would actually make a pretty good remote, assuming there was some decent software to use (I’m currently using TouchSquid, which is pretty crappy, imo).

This got me thinking… supposedly Apple is making a bunch of displays that are about 7”. All the rumors seem to point to a iPad-mini or iPod Touch-maxi, but it would be pretty neat if it was actually a iMote or IRemote or iControl. Supposedly Steve Jobs said he figured out a way to control TV…

There is some software now that runs on iOS and Andriod which functions as a universal remote, but it suffers from the same problems as regular remotes.  I don’t get why, when making an app for a touch-based device, a developer would try to mimic a remote control. There is no real reason for all of the buttons to be “tap” based. You should be able to navigate the television using gestures on the screen, no by typing into a virtual number pad.  You could even accept input by drawing the number on the touchpad of the desired channel (or the letters of the channel if the remote is smart enough).

The app-based remotes also should have a social aspect which attempts to have people interact with the content that is being displayed on both the television and the remote. Keeping people engaged, especially during advertisements, would provide a huge revenue stream for anyone who owned these remotes, as the ads on the remote (which would probably be interactive) would be much more efficient than static ads that run on the television (they could even be targeted). In addition to interacting with the content providers, people could interact with the owners of other remotes by surveys, polls, and other methods.

Combined with Siri, a “social” gesture based remote should revolutionize the market.  It could not only help people manage the content that’s on the TV, but also become the content and make, for the first time, interactive TV.


Vista Sidebar Gadget, Transparent Backgrounds, and Font Color

by filip 9. May 2008 09:30

gadgetssWe've had a request from a client to build a Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget.  The background on the gadget is to be somewhat see-through.  So I've played around with gadgets, and noticed that when I make a semi-transparent background on the gadget, the font color gets all messed up.  For example, I wanted white text on a blue background with 50% opacity, and the font appeared blueish, even though it was supposed to be white.  If I turn off the opacity on the background, the font becomes white, but as long as there's opacity, the font is messed up.

Well, after doing some research, it appears there is a way to display the proper font color on transparent backgrounds, although I didn't find this anywhere on the Microsoft site.  The trick is to use JavaScript and the addTextObject() method.  Here's an example of some code, and the resulting gadget:


 1: <html> 
 2:   <head> 
 3:     <title>Sample Gadget</title> 
 4:     <style> 
 5:       body { width: 120px; height: 200px; font-size: 12px; margin: 0; font-family: Verdana; color: #FFFFFF; } 
 6:       .gadget { margin: 3px; } 
 7:     </style> 
 8:   </head> 
 9:   <body> 
 10:     <div class="gadget"> 
 11:       <div>This text is not white.</div> 
 12:     </div> 
 13:     <g:background id="background" src="images\bgblue.png" style="width:100%;height:100%;z-index: -1; position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0;" opacity="50"></g:background> 
 14:     <script language="javascript" type="text/javascript">
 1: document.getElementById("background").addTextObject("This text is white.", "Verdana", 12, "white", 3, 50);
 15:   </body> 
 16: </html>

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Windows Development

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About Filip Stanek

Death Note Pic I'm a developer at ACG in Cincinnati, OH. I like ASP.NET, Flash, and other web technologies, & enjoy playing chess, video games, etc.

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