It’s hardly a revelation that, for some, smartphones are used for anything but making phone calls. While catching up on TV shows online is quite the norm in the US, folks in South Korea prefer their phones and other electronic devices to come with a receiver known as DMB Tuner, that lets them catch TV and radio programs. It appears Samsung is cooking up something that may bring the digital TV fever to American soil.
Patent Bolt has uncovered a patent application that Samsung recently submitted to the USPTO, covering a touch control scheme for future Android devices fitted with TV tuners. The patent involves the use of simple touch gestures to perform a series of actions, such as changing channels and recording a broadcast.
The premise of the patent is simple enough. To switch TV channels, users can simply draw the desired channel number on the touchscreen. Recording TV content on the device is just as simple – instead of drawing numbers, users just have to draw the letter “R”.
The patent application also reveals that Samsung is planning to equip the device with a DMB tuner, something that most Samsung devices in South Korea already ship with. For example, the South Korean variant of the Samsung Galaxy S3 already has an antenna sticking out from the right side of the phone (as seen on the above picture). While DMB technology is prevalent in South Korea and in some European countries, the US use a different mobile digital TV standard known as the ATSCH-M/H. We’re not sure how that’ll play out.
It remains to be seen whether Samsung will really release Android devices with a TV tuner of some sort in the US. It could be that the Koreans are merely learning from the pro by filing for as many patents as possible now and thinking later about the actual implementation — even if the company doesn’t intend to follow them through.