Steve Jobs’ ‘marine remote control’ app patent granted

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently granted a patent application that details a remote control device for a marine vessel, a concept that Steve Jobs was originally credited the inventor of.

The patent, titled "Remote motion control using a wireless mobile device", was filed in 2013 and has now been granted, registered under Apple and Savant Systems. Savant is a manufacturer of luxury home automation systems and worked with Jobs on the late Apple co-founder's superyacht, Venus.

The patent details a general-purpose device with a touchscreen, similar to an iPhone, which executes an application that remotely controls a vehicle (e.g. a marine vessel, such as a yacht). 

It would communicate wirelessly with an interface linked to the vessel's electronic control system, which collects environmental and system status information like wind speed and water depth from a series of sensors.

The control system also transmits and receives signals to the vessel's subsystems, such as throttle controllers, transmission, and rudders, enabling it to manoeuvre the vehicle remotely over the wireless network.

Jobs’ patent goes on to describe the application's packet delivery and user interface module, as well as a network health monitor that enables and disables functional control. The touchscreen displays status information for the vessel and shows which controls are engaged, among other subsystem data.

Venus was designed by Philippe Starck's design company Ubik and built by Feadship. Jobs died in October 2011, while the superyacht was unveiled a year later at a cost of more than $112 million.

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