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IBM Aiming to Patent Twitter Remote

These days, it really does seem a bit much to expect people to reach for their laptop or iPhone to alert the world that they're watching on television.

Well, IBM's got an app for that.

In a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Big Blue describes a network-enabled remote control that syncs up to Twitter and other social media outlets to send updates about what you're watching on the tube.

IBM describes its device as "a method for automatic blogging during media experiencing."

The smart remote IBM is pitching would enable viewers to create custom micro-blog posts by adding in their own text through the remote, and, when available, grab snapshots of the media content so an image or sound could be appended to the blog. It would also allow users to create and save ready-made tags that they could relay to the blogging service for an automatic status-style update. That would save you the trouble of manually tapping out the letters to spell "Go Irish" every Saturday afternoon when Notre Dame takes the field.

In the true spirit of the social Web, IBM's device would be two-way, so users could also get feedback to their posts via the remote.

The contraption would do all of this independent of a person's computer, relaying information directly to the social media site's servers.

In the background section of IBM's filing, the company justified its invention by reminding the patent examiners that, still, one must be absolutely modern.

"Technology advances continue to support people's need to stay connected to one another more readily and more quickly," IBM declared. "More than ever, people wish to be able to share their comments with others in real-time as they experience life. In the case of television, for example, one of the joys of watching television is discussing with one's friends the juicy bits of a favorite show or the latest television program."

The company pitched the device as a step iteration over Internet TV service Joost and other social-media offerings that are still tethered to the PC.

"Current microblogging and social networking approaches ... do not allow for a viewer of a TV program, music or other media to readily 'autoblog' in real-time about programs being viewed without use of a computer," IBM said.