The concepts in the patent covers typical home automation functions (scene control, etc), using the AppleTV as an IR blaster controlled via iPhone/Touch, apps on AppleTV, gaming and a tuner function.
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!
If this comes to fruition, it would certainly be a game changer.