Apple Universal Remote Coming Soon via iPhone?

So far we’ve talked about the L5 remote, Bell PVR TV remote app, and the RedEye Mini. Being able to control all your multimedia devices with one remote is very handy. The latest patents submitted by Apple reveals that they have some sort of super remote in the works. writes about the following:

Apple has been trying to create the ultimate universal remote in their labs for several years now. In fact, the first of three patent figures in our cover graphic above is from one of their 2007 patents on the same subject. In this report, we’ll show you some of the great things that Apple is dreaming up in respect to Apple TV and a universal remote that is starting to really take shape: A universal remote that may finally have some real meaning beyond just controlling our iTunes content. Where’s the beef? Well here it is – and a whole lot more!

On one hand, Apple’s patent basically relates to portable electronic devices and more particularly to systems and methods for saving and restoring scenes in a multimedia system. What is a scene? A scene includes the states of one or more components in the multimedia system. States of components that could be captured in a scene can include, for example, the states of lights (e.g., whether they are turned on or off and their brightness levels), the states of speakers (e.g., volume level and balance), media that is playing on a media playback application, metadata associated with the media that is playing, or any other suitable states.

Devices in the multimedia system could include consumer electronic devices, such as televisions, set-top boxes, stereo receivers, and computers, and appliances, such as lights, window shades, and fireplaces. In addition, universal remote controls have been designed to interact with a wide variety of devices, so that a single universal remote control could be used to control more than one device. For example, a universal remote control could control both a television and set-top box.

This is very interesting. If Apple is going to create a new universal remote we could also see a new version of Apple TV coming our way (Apple’s so called hobby). What do you think? How soon will we see some sort of remote that controls our entire house, either via the iPhone or iPod Touch?