Man controls Times Square screen with iPhone - for real

Posted by Kate Taylor

Just a week ago, a hoax video was doing the rounds purporting to show the hacking of a Times Square advertising screen using an iPhone as a remote control. But now a Canadian man claims to have done it for real.

Entrepreneur Adi Isakovic had more than a little help, it must be said, in that he was given the screen time by an advertising agency for his experiment.

He was trying out his new application, TubeMote, which is designed to let mobile phone owners use their device as a universal remote control. The idea is to let users control their televisions and home security systems, as well as public screens and stadium scoreboards. He hopes advertisers will be interested in the technology as a way of interacting with consumers.

So for a short while on Tuesday night, the 5,000 square foot billboard switched from its usual fare of advertising to a video of Isakovic's dog, Cookie. He then used his iPhone to switch ot to a video of his wife.

The experiment didn't go without a hitch, in that it took a good fifteen minutes to get the thing started.

There's a video, here.

"On my iPhone over here I've got my TubeMote remote - it's actually a custom remote that I made the TubeMote API just for this demo and, basically, what I do is click here and play this video," says Isakovic.

"You can do this on any screen - you can do it on your laptop, your desktop, your friends can watch at the same time."

The exploit follows a hoax last week which appeared to show an iPhone user controlling a Times Square screen - but which turned out to be a marketing stunt for the new movie Limitless.