The abilities of mobile phones continue to expand. They became cameras. They became MP3 players. Then they started to become televisions. But there is always scope for more.
Rumours abound of new possibilities for mobiles. We hear, for example, of mobiles being transformed into buying tools, where in order to purchase something from the Internet or from our home, all we need to do is text a code to someone, and the money will be automatically debited from our credit card accounts, or added to our latest mobile phone bills, and our order placed. This is just one of many possibilities, and today, Sky have turned one such rumour into a reality.
It has been announced that Sky+ customers will now be able to text their Sky+ box to record broadcasts. A new service has been launched, called Remote Record, which will enable users of the service to control their Sky+ box from anywhere. Forgotten you needed to record something important? No need to phone home to get someone to record it for you, now you can just use your mobile.
Of course, you will need a 2.5G, 3G or GPRS phone, which has the Sky by mobile application downloaded and installed. Once this has been accomplished, users can see on their phone Sky’s light blue on-screen guide, and can browse listings and view programme details on the move. Alternatively, users of the service can send a short message with the programme details to a dedicated number.
The text message version works with any UK-based mobile phone, users send a short message such as The Simpsons. Sky 1. 11/06. 18:30. to the dedicated "Remote Record" number 61759. Sky then automatically searches the TV listings and if a match is found a message is sent to the customers Sky+ box.
To use Remote Record you need an active Sky+ subscription. Up to eight mobiles can be registered on one box. However mobile phones cannot be registered on multiple boxes. Texts cost 25p.