Comcast Creates World's First "Social Remote" With Xfinity iPad App

We said in our initial iPad review that the tablet was almost certain to grow in popularity over time, as more and more developers had more and more time to create unique applications to take advantage of the new screen size and 1GHz A4 processor. One obvious application for a slate such as this is a home entertainment controller, specifically, a wild TV remote like this world has never seen. Logitech's Harmony line of remotes has come a long way, but having a device with integrated Wi-Fi and a direct link to the iTunes store opens up a lot more possibilities.

Comcast is hoping to take advantage of the opportunity, with the cable carrier showing off an Xfinity remote prototype at the NCTA Show. Basically, this custom app works with your Comcast cable box and allows you to "search for your favorite shows and movies on television and video on demand, change the channel on your cable box right from your iPad, and set your DVR remotely." These functions have been available in some way to most all smartphone owners for awhile, but as you'll notice in the video below, having a 9.7" IPS screen to work with makes everything more elegant.

It's also tightly integrated into social networks, making it (as Comcast describes) a "social remote." In a way, it adds an interactive layer that has long been missing from the traditional TV viewing experience. It's also a good thing for Comcast, as online TV viewers have had similar features (chats, etc.) for awhile now. No specific launch date for the app was mentioned, but we're sure Comcast's software engineers are working to get it out as soon as possible, not to mention all of Comcast's rivals, now.