Apple Channels Its Future TV
by Leslie Meredith, TechNewsDaily Senior Writer
December 19 2011 01:05 PM ET
Rumors detailing Apple’s television product gained steam over the weekend with a report from the Wall Street Journal outlining how Apple would adapt its current technologies to launch an Apple-worthy TV.
Citing meetings over the last several weeks between Apple executives and media sources, the WSJ report sketched out how the new device would neatly tie together Apple’s iCloud, AirPlay, Siri voice control and its smaller screen devices — iphone, iPod and iPad — with a big-screen HDTV .
Here’s how it would work:
Content would be available from iCloud , Apple’s new storage hub for movies and TV along with a user’s own generated content such as video and photos. Apple is said to be working on a DVR feature through iCloud that would allow viewers to record shows and then store them on Apple servers. In essence, Apple would incorporate its set-top box AppleTV into the television itself.
The television could be controlled with an iPhone, iPod and iPad — all of which would run iOS5 or later — enabling voice-activated control through Siri, Apple’s voice-to-text feature launched with iPhone 4S.
The WSJ report also says that gesture control has been discussed. Microsoft has already announced a “near” version of its Kinect motion-control sensor that can read gestures as close as 20 inches. A similar “natural user interface,” or NUI, could be built into iTV.
However, voice- and gesture-control features “may take longer than some of its other ideas,” the report said.
Where Apple would get its content remains unclear. It could launch its own subscription-TV service. Apple has discussed the possibility of licensing content directly from media companies, according to the report.
Apple users would be able to watch TV on one device and switch to another without interruption. For instance, an iTV viewer could pick up an iPhone and continue watching a program in a car. Apple is working on an advanced version of its current AirPlay technology that would allow this type of cross-device streaming. But media companies would have to agree. Currently, Time Warner’s HBO is not part of AirPlay on AppleTV, but hopes to participate once it is comfortable with the antipiracy protection, according to the WSJ.