Verizon Communications Inc. is bumping up the value prop for its FiOS residential television service by turning smartphones into remote controls, among other things.
Integrating mobile handsets with the TV, including remote control and program navigation, and apps that can run on both, is a prime initiative for the carrier.
The remote control function will make its way to commercial availability within the next three months, and will work on Verizon phones with Wi-Fi, like BlackBerrys. The carrier is considering allowing the functionality with non-Verizon phones as well.
This week Verizon also took the wraps off new widgets, including a football statistics app, as well as a recommendation engine for video on demand, geo-targeted ads, and special portals for HBO and Showtime.