Patent published on November 9, 2023

New Patent Could Boost Tivo's Parental Controls, Alerting When Rules are Broken

A new patent filed by Rovi Guides could bring a fresh approach to parental controls on TiVo. The recent patent, listed as US20230362443A1, offers insight into a system that aims to notify users when certain activities exceed an authorized limit - a modern problem concerning online safety, particularly for younger audiences.

Traditional parental control systems allow remote monitoring of the content that kids view at home. Notifications can be sent to the parent when the child accesses restricted content. Yet, these systems come with their own set of challenges. They often fail to consider the finer aspects surrounding unpermitted content access, leading to an overabundance of false positive alerts. This often results in overloading parents with unnecessary notifications, causing frustration and undermining the effectiveness of the system.

The patent from Rovi Guides proposes a nuanced solution. Essentially, this system not only identifies when unauthorized content is accessed but also measures the length of that access. If the undesired activity extends beyond a set limit, it flags an alert to another party - presumably a parent or guardian.

Through this method, the system provides a more comprehensive picture to the second user, who may be at a remote location. The alert includes details such as the identifier of the content, its description, and the user's identifier. It even provides options for controlling the equipment used to access the content, perhaps allowing the second user to cut off further engagement with the content.

With the implementation of this patent, the world of parental controls on devices like TiVo could become much more efficient and nuanced. A parent, for instance, won't have to worry about being bombarded with unnecessary alerts when their child is watching cartoons. But if their child stumbles upon something less innocent and lingers on it, the alert would come through, allowing immediate corrective action.

This system paints a future of improved parental controls, wherein parents enjoy greater peace of mind knowing their children's online activity is monitored in a sophisticated and more user-friendly manner. Of course, as is the case with all patents, the implementation of these systems and methods depends on various factors.

P.S. Please note that as this is a patent, there is no guarantee it will reach the market. It merely indicates a potential course the technology could take to tackle the challenges around online safety and parental control monitoring.

Explore more